The FIA have now officially confirmed that the halo cockpit protection will be in use from 2018, and for some reason a lot of people are against this?
Now I admit, the halo isn’t the best looking thing around and the other suggested solutions are far more aesthetically pleasing, but it’s the most developed so far and that is why it is going to be used in 2018. What I’m hoping will happen is that the halo will simply be used as a stop-gap while better solutions (like the shield, pictured below) are developed further to the point where they can be used.
While the types of accidents where the halo would come in useful are very rare, the mere possibility that it may save a life is surely better than having no additional cockpit protection at all? Today (July 19th) is the anniversary of Henry Surtees’ death, a man that was killed by a loose wheel that struck him on the head, exactly the type of accident that the halo would stop. Yes, it wouldn’t have helped the accident that caused Massa’s injury in 2009 or the horrific accident of Jules Bianchi (nothing would other than the crane not being there) but it is better than nothing and could potentially save somebody.
One thing that the FIA have said as well is that they will work with the teams to enhance the design of the halo, so by the time we see it on a 2018 car it may not even be as ugly as it is now. This protection issue isn’t simply an F1 thing, the FIA now need to work on putting similar sort of protection in all junior formulas as well, where it would be even more useful.
So the halo is here, and I am perfectly happy with that, though I do hope the FIA continue to research into the issue and further develop the shield concept as that can protect from more types of accidents.
If any fans are seriously going to stop watching the sport because of some additional safety measures then they are not proper fans and are foolish. Every now and then F1 cars are ugly, it happens, then you get used to it, they improve anyway, what’s the problem? Just off the top of my head I can name loads of ugly F1 cars; March 761, Ensign N179, Ligier JS5, Brabham BT34, every single car in 2012 and 2014. How many people do you know that stopped watching in 2012 or 2014 because of the horrific step noses or err “finger” noses?
Safety is more important than aesthetics, drivers’ lives are more important than aesthetics, the halo will not affect the quality of the racing, I see no point in wishing or petitioning for it to not come in for 2018. The halo is here, deal with it.