Jose Altoveros / Formula 1 | July 21, 2017 11:17
Halo favored over 'Shield' as F1 cockpit protection device
Over the past years, Formula One has been continuously finding ways to improve driver safety. One such topic that was discussed more recently was the cockpit protection system. Two options were offered, one being the Halo and the other being the 'Shield'. However, it seems as though the FIA has pushed for the introduction of the Halo beginning next season on the grounds of safety.
The Halo has already undergone extensive testing years before. In fact, all the teams have had their drivers run the device at least once prior. Meanwhile, the shield was first tested on Sebastian Vettel's Ferrari during the practice round of the recently concluded British Grand Prix. Vettel cut short his practice run with the shield on as he felt 'dizzy' using it.
Though most of the teams voted against using the Halo, the FIA said that it would become part of the regulations beginning the 2018 season on the basis of safety. The FIA did add however that some parts of the Halo would still be redesigned and further enhanced. However, the shield still requires final approval from the World Motorsport Council before it can be moved into motion.
Apart from safety, the added shield will also increase the weight of the cars. To counter this, the F1 weight limit will also be raised to ensure that heavier drivers would not be unfairly penalized due to the weight increase.
Most fans and commentators have shown their disapproval of the Halo mainly due to its design. However, the Formula 1's Grand Prix Drivers' Association have backed up the FIA's push for safety, though some teams and drivers were reportedly against it solely on visual grounds.