Teams ‘unanimously agree’ to use halo as F1 head protection from 2018
Posted By: Editor   |  19 Jul 2017   |  9:02 pm GMT  |  421 comments

The Formula 1 Strategy Group met on Wednesday to decide that next year’s F1 cars will be fitted with the ‘halo’ cockpit protection system.

The halo was designed to reduce the risk of large debris hitting drivers’ heads, and trials were conducted during a number of Grands Prix by teams in 2016.

After the ‘shield’ was tested by Sebastian Vettel at the British Grand Prix, its negative reception is thought to have swayed sentiment towards the halo for 2018. The design of the halo will be further optimised before its use next season.

The Strategy Group, for the first time comprised all teams competing in the constructors’ championship now including Renault, Toro Rosso, Sauber and Haas – though those four teams were present only as observers, voting on just a few issues.

Although there was unanimous support in 2016 on the halo, there are reports that there was opposition from teams this time around but the halo is being introduced anyway on safety grounds. Initial reaction from fans seems quite negative but it will only be once the new cars are revealed, tested and then in the early Grands Prix of 2018 that the full weight of sentiment will be known.

This website is not in favour of the halo on the grounds that it is another thing that cuts the fans off from the driver and also on aesthetic grounds. It will be hard ever to consider an F1 car “beautiful” again.

But we are sympathetic to the drivers who have to drive the cars and who are calling, in some cases, for protection.

And if nothing were done, when a workable solution is available and a driver was hurt if killed by a flying wheel or large object, then questions would be asked, some of them legal.

Other topics such as future power units, cost control and fan engagement were discussed and the FIA claimed that this cockpit protection solution was reached under “unanimous agreement” in its statement today.

“Having developed and evaluated a large number of devices over the past five years, it had become clear that the halo presents the best overall safety performance,” the statement continued.

Teams were thought to have wanted to pursue the shield rather than the halo, but with pressure building, the FIA concluded the matter with today’s vote.

Regarding cost control, the FIA will task a Working Group including representatives of F1’s commercial rights holders, the FIA itself, and teams in order to make the sport more sustainable for teams in the future.

On the topic of fan engagement, the FIA’s statement said: “A number of sporting measures aimed at improving the show were also debated and specific studies will be carried out to assess these.”

What do you think about the Strategy Group’s decision to adopt the halo as its head protection system for 2018? Have your say in the comment section below.

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A poor poor decision. Looks terrible. Was strongly considering going to Silverstone next year but I think if the halos in place I won't bother.

I reckon this plus sky exclusivity in 2019 will be enough f1 for me.


If wheel & tyre combination is all this device is to guard against, drivers will die.


So we put up with the Walrus noses and the step noses that made F1 cars look hideous. But when the FIA introduces a safety device to prevent head injuries, all the back-seat drivers start moaning:

"Oh, I am so offended by the look of this, I will stop watching F1"

Well adios.... but this safety device may very well save the life your favourite driver - yes Kimi fans out there, we know how much you love Kimi!

Yes - imagine the halo actually deflected a tire from Kimi's head - hmmmm - maybe you'll sing a different tune.

So superficial! - placing a higher priority on "beauty and looks" over safety,

Let's see you put your life on the line....


The noses did not make them look 'hideous' any more than the ludicrously bemoaned T wings. OK, not nice, but they were easily changed/improved and people put up with them for ONE season because they knew they were going away. Very different story to the halo.

When people of the calibre of Adrian Newey doesn't like something, even only on partially aesthics grounds, there's some credibility to the issue.

It's not about beauty alone or putting one's life of the line. Drivers do far crazier things in races like driving on the grass at times or forcing others on to the grass. It's a dangerous sport and always will be but sure, reasonable safety measures have to be adopted. This is not Indycar madness. It's about a sensible, balanced approach and surrounding the driver with a device that obscures them almost completely - in that there's no angle where the halo isn't at least partially in the way - is not going to help the sport engage fans; will not prevent the Massa debris issue; obscures the driver's view more than ever; and will make it harder (though perhaps not too hard to pass an arbitrary test) for the driver to escape in an incident.

If you don't respect ordinary people's disagreements, at least you have to respect Niki Lauda, surely? He disagrees with it on the same grounds lots of people do:


I'm an aviation safety engineer. This may prevent one possible very specific injury in 10,000. But sadly make no real difference in real safety terms. The connotations of a high speed accident are so high, you will never make it 100% safe. One day there will be a big crash at Monaco and nothing - nothing will prevent the loss of life.


The point about "never making it 100% safe" is often thrown into discussion as a tacit suggestion that anybody who cares about safety is trying to make the support completely free from danger or absolutely safe. This is disingenuous. Of course the sport can never be completely safe any more than it can be justified as a meaningful endeavour on the whole.
This doesn't make it any less important to keep trying to make the sport safer, within reasonable limits. It's more about what those limits are, of course.

A good example may be the (recently infamous) so-called 'head rest'. IIRC this is nothing of the sort. It's more akin to the modern road car terminology of "side impact protection". It's primary purpose is to prevent the near-fatal Hakkinen accident in Adelaide from being fatal. At the time of it's introduction, some people complained it would hinder the driver's freedom such as his ability to use mirrors. Whilst these concerns were valid, they've largely been proven unfounded in the long run and I have no specific incident to reference but I am sure they've prevented very nasty injuries in accidents since their introduction. Nobody is calling for them to be removed simple because of a Teutonic (presumably?) design flaw.

One question needs to be answered that might help everyone calm down a touch: The halo seems to be universally considered far from ideal so will research continue to look for a better solution for 2019 and beyond?


But this is more about deflecting debris than making a difference in that kind of accident, or maybe maintaining a survival space in an accident where one car rides over the top of another, like we saw with Grosjean/Alonso in Spa a few years back.

Looking at the last decade or so in open wheel racing, the biggest risk to the driver appears to be being struck on the head by a heavy and fairly large piece of another car, like a wheel. The Halo should make that considerably less likely, although a small, dense object (like the spring that hit Massa in 2009) could easily go straight through it.

If the drivers don't mind it too much, and it doesn't hinder them while getting out of the car (it's possible it might actually help) then it's hard to see a good reason to not implement it.


The debris that hit Massa, for example, could potentially still get through the halo. Nobody seems to be saying that. Very strange.
However the halo *will* surely help in incidents like the one that killed Bianci and incidents where cars get launched over the top of the driver.
Perhaps the screen would not offer enough protection from incidents like the cases where cars can slide or land on top of the driver's head despite the roll bar / air scoop protection.
What makes no sense to me is why they cannot make even the halo from transparent materials. I'm not an expert but couldn't it at least be discussed and/or tried?
Overall though, it's not as if we get good views of the drivers as it is. They faces are heavily obscured by the helmets already.


It doesn't take much imagination to replay Massa's accident in an F1 world that included the halo device; where the bouncing spring hit the bottom of the leading edge of the halo and speared him straight through the chest.


Yes, but luckily they don't introduce things based on what you might imagine could have happened...They actually do proper simulations instead.


Hello Mike,

Thank you for your perspective.

Firstly, from my perspective, I have no interest in watching a sport purely because it’s “dangerous”. That all contact sports, combat sports, motor racing, cycling (especially mountain biking) and winter sports carry risks to the participants (and sometimes the spectators) of varying degrees of consequence is no reason for me to watch them in the hope I witness some sort of carnage or fatality. The skill in avoiding the potential for carnage however, is one of the reasons I find those sports compelling, particularly in the case of motor sport in which the potential for carnage is often but not always proportionate to the speed travelled and the difficulty in negotiating the physical layout of the track which of course varies race by race (oval racing features low on my list of motor sport preferences). And though I’m sure many if not all of us never wish to see another fatality or near-fatality in F1 ever again, I’m indeed sympathetic to your points that while risk can be mitigated, it cannot be eliminated. Perhaps that is obvious, but nevertheless, its obviousness shouldn't be ignored.

Secondly, aesthetics aside, I'd be very interested in seeing the actual data and the probability of harm reduction relative to the halo’s use versus non-use they analysed to arrive at this decision. I appreciate that in theory some protection is probably better than none, but statistical data tends to relate best to real-world scenarios where the variables are symmetrically distributed, volatility is low and there’s little change. F1? Constant unpredictability with every single race. The track changes, the tyres change, the weather does, the grid does, the racing is constantly evolving and modulating and the data generated therefore is much more volatile. Given we have an asymmetrical and highly volatile sport producing an asymmetrical and highly volatile data set with every race, I would like to know exactly how the data was generated relative to real-world scenarios rather than (what I hope was not) a limited data set based on historical precedents.

That’s not to say I disagree with the decision (aesthetics aside), and it’s certainly not to say I want to see another Wehrlein or Kubica, let alone a Bourdais, Massa, Monger or Bianchi. It’s just that as a species, we tend to be very good at reacting to the past, and very poor at predicting the future.



P.S. To TimW, NRG and avelli re: Hamilton and perception of his rhetoric. I tried for a day and a half to respond to your comments as the notifications appeared in my inbox. I appreciate this forum’s need for moderation, but when your comments continue to fail to appear in order for me to respond here on the website (and we were preparing to leave for vacation), I decided my efforts were better focussed elsewhere. That you may consider this as a cop out on my part is perhaps unavoidable, but please know I appreciate your comments, found many of them salient, even in as much as we may continue to disagree on various aspects of the dialogue relative to our individual perspectives. That I personally watch F1 for what it may offer in terms of what Vettel and Verstappen gave us on Sunday, rather than what Hamilton did is no knock on Hamilton, but start to finish dominance is less interesting to me, though I appreciate not everyone will feel that way, especially in cases in which one has an allegiance to the driver in question. For whatever that might be worth.


What if what if what if.
There are a multitude of other dangers - are we going to try and eliminate those as well? How about no more running in the wet for starters?


Well in that case, remove the driver completely! Can't get safer than that...or is that too silly? Where do you draw the line?

And if you read the back of a ticket to any motor race it says 'motor racing is dangerous'. That's why we watch it...if it was perfectly safe, anyone could do it and none of us would bother watching. You need to have a think about being a little too sanctimonious and calling the vast majority of folks on here 'so superficial' whilst climbing down off your high H&S horse.


Well if it was me who was offered a $40 million a year drive at Ferrari or McLaren, I would surely race without the halo mate. There is nothing wrong with the safety of F1 cars these days. Bianchi, Senna, Ratzenberger... they all would have been killed with or without the halo. It simply does not add anything to the safety level of F1.


Not sure why my previous comment did not go through.
My take on this Halo non-sense (100% rejections from what I'm reading, drivers, fans, ex-drivers, etc).
Just a show by the FIA and Todt. Everyone dislikes it or does not find any positive turn on the device. FIA/Todt will call it off. In the event of any unfortunate incident, they can say 'we proposed a solution, but nobody wanted it'.

What's of concern here is that this people at the FIA needed 3 years to come up with an idea or design that did not convince anyone.
Every time they step in, something gets screwed up. Or viceversa, Vettel drives on purpose into Hamilton, and all hunky dory.

PS: MotoGP might be considering adding 2 more wheels on the grounds of Safety. Unfortunately the IP rights of the AutoGP name was taken.


I'm going to predict that there may be a reversal once the FIA realize how unpopular the halo will become. Unless its appearance changes drastically for the better, it is hard to imagine it won't be hugely unpopular.


Come on Chase, how's the time to step up a do what's right for the sport by stopping this abomination.


I think there is more at play than just the Halo. With the Halo design 'in place' there might be some impetus for the teams to put real effort into into improving the design, both technically and aesthetically. Development on the shield has been somewhat half hearted, now with this very real and ugly thing is in play the big teams might put some real effort in.


i'll be going to see what the halo looks like as i've never seen them live..


Are you Jean Todt or something? Jeez, going to watch a race because of the Halo not in spite of...unbelievable.


do i not have the freedom of choice?


No more FTA after 2018 and the FIA have ruined the look of the cars (and after all that hoo-ha about making the cars look better for 2017). Mr. Carey and Liberty must be pleased. Like many others, I can't justify the cost of SKY F1 and therefore F1 loses another fan. I will be going to Silverstone though...for the MotoGP!!!!!


have you seen the motogp race suite with all the add ons on the forearms, knees, shins, elbow ankles, shoulders, backs and hips, they adopt a strange walk off the bikes because of it.
they've also gone overboard with safety...can you imagine them riding in tshirts and shorts?


no detatched wheels or debris flying st motogp riders in accidents..





Richard Cooper

I totally agree - although as MotoGP tickets are cheaper I've already spent the difference on a flight to Italy and will be watching at Mugello in September instead. Racing is racing; there's no cotton wool needed in my eyes.


Obviously and its not a surprise a lot of people feel the same, myself included.


I agree it looks terrible. In case the powers that be think "fans will just get used to it" and think that your reaction to not going to Silverstone is a passing one... for reference, during the pre-hybrid era I attended three grand prix weekends when I could finally afford it (2010-). I've had the opportunity to go to two after the new PUs were introduced, and decided against it, ONLY because of the sound.

The halo looks bad perhaps because the requirements were poorly set. Are they intending to deflect springs and wings, or wheels and earth moving equipment? If the former was initially left out of the requirements then why pursue the shield in the first place? Are they intending to protect the driver's head in an airborne roll into catch fencing?

The highest likelihood of injury seems to be because the front "roll hoop" (the front part of the chassis near the driver's legs that would make contact with the ground during a roll) is currently too far away from the driver's head. This allows for objects with certain geometries to enter the area between the roll hoops.

Throwing a concept out to complete my rant: A thin rib running along the chassis centre line, ending at the cockpit entry, with a height above the helmet. Like a dorsal fin but with a shallower rake. Wheels and catch fencing would be deflected, surely. My intuition is that it can be made stronger than the halo because the load is distributed along the length, as opposed to three point loads.

The problem is the requirements. You can dream up a thousand different concepts that work if the requirements allow it. In the case of the halo, they've gone down an ugly path that works, and they should be criticised for it, because aesthetics and acoustics correlate with fans spending money on the sport.


Well there was plenty of grumbling about the 2009 car spec, with it's ungainly ironing board front wing and weirdly tall and narrow rear wing. Lots of fans claimed they'd stop watching and within a few races it was all forgotten about. I think the FIA have learned a lot of lessons over they years about how rarely F1 fans follow through when they don't like a change in the sport.

The problem with your design here is that it would literally only provide protection to the driver against objects coming down the midline of the car. Worse though, objects could strike it from an oblique angle and be deflected towards the driver's head.

The Halo is actually pretty well designed for what it's supposed to do. The ring around the top provides good protection against something like a wheel bouncing down on to the driver. There's always going to be a vulnerability in the middle where the driver has to step through it, but the likely forward momentum of an F1 car makes the window for an object actually hitting the driver from directly above with the Halo installed very small indeed. It probably would've protected against something like Henry Surtees' accident, where the wheel struck the cockpit from the side. Interestingly, the Shield device (as tested) would not have helped. The Halo may or may not have helped in Justin Wilson's case: the wheel did come almost straight down on him, but in that situation the slightest touch from a shielding structure could've made a crucial difference.


No one has come up with a previous accident scenario where a halo device would have reduced injury. Even imaginary "future accidents" where it might be of some use are somewhat spurious, and you can imagine a lot more situations where a halo device may trap a driver in the car rather than allow them to get out unaided.


@ Kenny C ...are you not making some factual errors here? IIRC Justin Wilson was killed by a segment of the front wing/bodywork from another car and not a 'loose' wheel. I may be wrong but that is what i recall.


Have you seen how many fans F1 lost since 2009? I believe official numbers released recently indicated 100 million.


As always the people who take the decisions are not the consumers but they always think they know best. Where i live we have trams with rock hard seats what risk your spine every time you travel. We have bus shelters with seats at 45 degrees so you can lean on then but not sit. We have buses with large adverts stuck on the windows so you cant see out. Most of the bus seats ate unusable for me due to insufficient knee room. That does not happen in London but out in the provinces they must think we are all pigmys! The brains at the FlA and liberty think they are saving the sport. Im a consumer and I think they are nwarot!


Agree entirely
I'm done with F1 after this. I'd rather watch WEC & Moto GP & Indycars


No need for concern:

"the FIA concluded the matter with today’s vote"

...until they change their minds again, but if I'm wrong then welcome to F-Thong 😐


Yep there's a good chance the FIA will pull their customary U-turn on this, probably in a few months time.


Yup. Could be typical pre-summer break stunt, then they give fans what they want, but really they gave them nothing. End result, lots of press, lots of good will and praise by fans for regaining its senses and it all cost nothing.


At times, the FIA/Bernie have implemented a rule they know will be very unpopular in order to get a favoured and less controversial solution passed instead. I don't get the sense that this is one of those times, however.


@ Nick H...i very much doubt it as the teams will now be incorporating the engineered requirments into the plans for the new chassis. I guess they may have a contingency plan to not implement as well but it would appear to be a done deal for '18 at least.


One can only hope so!!😳


Same here, was thinking of going to Montreal next year but now i'm hesitated to go, they look so so so ugly.
I'll be attending the Japanese GP later this year though, perhaps to witness the last real GP cars 🙁


That happened in 2004. That was the last year of single race engines V10s and awesome speed still unbeaten.


but you still watch, right?
and follow with a finetooth comb?

Tornillo Amarillo

I think the halo was thinking for Grosjean, but now they are in a hurry given that Kvyat... you know.


But have calculations of strength, let alone real tests, been done for this more likely event for the HALO. Not seen any mention.
Of course they could have happened - and failed!!


Agreed, the list of hazards it could protect against could be very long. However, how often have they happened compared to other KSI hazards. Because a few such events have happened in a short space of time, FIA have reacted with no though for the actual under lying frequency and the number of initiating events that 'by chance' didn't impact the cockpit.
That sort of analysis is normal in any hazardous industry like aviation, mining, oil&gas, etc and has been for decades.
Not the FIA, Their Safety Management, if it can be called that is stuck in the 70s still.


looks like there is an explosion of "complain at every opportunity" society..


Why are you complaining about people complaining then?


at least get it right, where can you see a complaint about complaining?
i only describe the level of complaints.
good try though neeuuh.


Nice try at making something more out of your complaining about complaining


when all the raised cockpit protections were introduced, we didn't hear any complaints...but now that a real headprotection is being introduced, the "purists" are up in arms. and most have never seen a race live..


Then you weren't listening...

Why do you have to disrespect other people's opinion by brushing them off as complaining?

Purist as you say have had to deal with many things over the last couple of years. This will be the last drop for many.

And FYI I attended my first GP in 1985, is that enough to be allowed to complain?


was that your last?


Imagine the front wing of that Lotus being trapped underneath the Halo!


i started imagining but as soon as i stopped imagining, that front wing was no longer trapped in the that problem can easily be resolved by stopping the imagining..


Or the weight of the Lotus chassis being kept off Alonso's head by it...


Or Alonso being trapped inside his car because of it...


This has been mentioned a few times in the forums i visit but clearly the FIA are oblivious to it, this halo could direct a nose cone or any other object directly into the drivers face/head causing a fatality or horrific injury when it could have been a near miss or light contact which would have been survivable.

Tornillo Amarillo

Could the object rebound against the halo and then hit the driver's head instead of hitting the car and fly away ?


This is approaching the motorbike helmet debate, though, where people highlight the one accident in 10,000 where the helmet was detrimental in order to oppose the nine accidents out of ten where it helps.

I'm not saying those are the numbers here, but really it's hard to see how the Halo could create more danger than it mitigates. Most of the things small enough to fit through the Halo will not have enough mass to seriously injure a driver, or will not be deflected by a sufficient degree to strike him if they would otherwise have missed him. Anything with the mass of a whole car behind it is not going to be deflected into the driver either - it's still attached to the car and the rim of the tub will ultimately be stronger than the Halo. And yes, a collision with sufficient energy will simply break the Halo, but the Halo will absorb quite a bit of energy in doing so. That energy will not subsequently be transmitted to the driver and who knows, that could make the difference.

It's hard not to conclude that people are seeing something they don't like on aesthetic grounds and then dreaming up these very specific scenarios to put in its way, but usually not thinking them through in a logically consistent manner (as people often do with friendly 'facts') . The people who designed these things are not idiots. They'll have more knowledge and more data on accidents in open wheel racing than any of us could every hope to amass, so it makes sense to give them the benefit of the doubt on it actually being a safety improvement.

What I'm not quite so convinced on is that the need for this device is as great as it was just a few years ago. Back then, it was not uncommon to see wheels flying off cars in high energy accidents. This is because the tethers can only be so strong before they risk tearing the tub apart. However, this doesn't appear to happen as regularly now. Probably because the tubs are stronger, so the tethers can be stronger still. Do we still need a dedicated solution for protection against loose wheels? Possibly not, although the move away from refuelling has seen a rise in the number of wheels simply not being put on cars properly.


I better not


Better wedged in the halo than wedged in Alonso's face.

Tornillo Amarillo

This design is better, you can put your favorite drink on and showcase it!

Of course Ferrari has to do it in RED.


yep, this looks much more stylish..


Ugly AF.


Cheap flip flops


they're rigid..

Tornillo Amarillo

are you serious not going because of the halo...?

I'm incredulous...


Come on, that's our best choice for pushing FIA and Liberty to a panic mode. They would never suspect it's just a bluff .


I agree, if you are purely not going to a race just cause the cars don't look 'sexy' then I'm sorry your a fool!
it's like if you are going out with an amazing girl / boy who you find funny, kind, caring & you get along great with & looks attractive but then you decided to stop out with them cause they suddenly have to start wearing glasses!!!


The halo is Todt's doing.
It's OK for him, he doesn't watch F1 anymore.


He's washing his hands, that's what he's really doing.


More like he's covering his back. It's possible we could see a change of direction once the Bianchi legal case is concluded.


We'll soon get used to the change. After a race or two the cars will look funny without them.


It always seems to go that way, doesn't it?


Go and look at the 2009 cars. Ugly then and ugly today.


But at the time, we quickly stopped noticing. The 2008 cars were pretty ugly, too, with all their protuberances and winglets everywhere. The 2009 cars were actually a lot cleaner from many angles.


I really, really, seriously doubt it. For many the Halo is just the last of a culmination of poor decisions that had not made the sport better to say the least


I wouldn't say is a poor decision. it's been long coming. i'm surprised it took so long after senna's fatal crash. f1 cars look nothing like road cars. their wings are ugly yet people want to see them. the halo will not deter people from wanting to see them. I hope a cage eventually replace the halo.


i think that's why there's such a backlash against the thong, we all know that it's not being introduced for safety reasons but to enhance the reputation of the hierarchy of the FIA (well that's what they're hoping for, but this has backfired big time)


Have you seen the backlash from the fans? Have you read the reactions of key figures from the sport? Did you read how little is actually known about the effect the Halo is going to make, either in a positive or negative way?

It's a terrible decision...

And what exactly does Senna have to do with this? Are you saying the Halo is an answer to Senna's death? In which case you are completely off the mark.


Will this hinder/disadvantage taller drivers? Beanpoles like the Hulk are already hindered by their height because of the weight limit!


hulkenberg said the halo was more more than high enough when he tested it. he even said it could be lower...


The sport is losing it thrill factor, Indy Cars are now much better to watch, they are my preference this year, better value all round, faster, more dangerous, real men. The Halo is terrible, wait until someone has a crash and cannot get out in the requisite 5 seconds, whoops!! Sky will kill the sport in the end as well, fans will find something cheaper, more easily obtained and more thrilling, Paw Patrol is already a close contender.


They also have a driver killed once every 2-3 years, but if that's what does it for you...


Agree. I'm really enjoying Indycar this year. The new 2018 chasis looks much better, but not perfect.


"real men"

And women.


Indy's were great in the 90's. The current Dallaras look like an experiement from the 70's. So poorly shaped, plus those addons for Safety.

Racing is great though, you're absolutely right. The Indy 500 this year was awesome in every sense, also because of the Alonso factor and performance.


The 2018 car is looking much much better though. I would watch it more frequently if I didn't loathe ovals.


There's only 4 ovals on the calander, including Indy. Just skip the oval races you don't want to watch. The road courses and street courses are fantastic though!!


Doubt it. I'm sure there are already limits on how far the drivers head extends from the cockpit that the halo will be specced to.

Stephen Taylor

Gas Boy I wonder whether the weight of the cars will have to go up again slightly due to halo introduction.


Yes, possibly - even more "discrimination" for lanky lads like Hulk! He weighs 10 KG heavier than his rivals because of his height. And 10 KG is equal to 0.3 seconds...........and that's before the car has moved an inch....


all the cars and drivers meet the minimum weight limit. taller drivers do not weigh more with their cars than others. all cars have ballast which are used to adjust weight balance.


Sad, lazy and ugly.
They couldn´t solve the design of the nose.
They let the cars got back to pre 2009 appendix.
What they are doing!!


Exactly, doing what? Isn't that ugly, is it?
100% consensus, they may know more than us, my guess.
Let's listen to the drivers, their feedback will come up shortly.


The team were there considered as spectators. Earlier reports mentioned that 9/10 teams were opposed, this has a funny smell about it


the halo was introduced on safety grounds, not on the grounds of popularity mind you.


No, it was reintroduced based on lawsuits.

It has not even been tested on possible NEGATIVE influences on safety, there aren't ANY procedures yet for rescue and medical assistance activities. Believe what you will.

The safety grounds is a farce. This does not solve any safety issue and it actually might introduce issues.

And get cars really fast will always pose some risk. Statistically F1 has been a hugely safe sport for at least the last 20 years.

F1 attendance and viewers however...they are getting smaller every year. So ignore or downplay the popularity aspect all you want, this WILL prove to be F1's definitive downfall.


now that the halo is the chosen headprotection, i can't wait to see how all the cars look like live..
i will try to enjoy the experience too and stay miles away from moaning voices..


Have fun I guess? Way to go brushing off other people's frustration over what is happening to their favourite sport as moaning.

I guess you go through life accepting everything that gets thrown at you. That's fine but other people do have passion for something, that doesn't mean they are moaning.


where is the logic in complaining about the introduction of a protective device for the participants of "your favourite sport"?
surely you'd like those participants to exist long enough to ensure that sport remains your favourite..


You need some perspective.

Arnoud van Houwelingen

Problem is the drivers are 50/50 on this .. drivers like Hulkenberg and Verstappen are fervently against it but drivers like Massa and Grosjean are in favour of it 🙁


And yet Grosjean didn't like it much when he tested it.


That tells me a lot about their skills and self confidence. Drivers are not fooled into joining f1, are they? Risk is part of their jobs, not willing to take? Next!


Any driver or team that consider the Halo a must need to start looking at entering another sport - F1 is not for them...

With how sanitized F1 is becoming drivers need to be taking massive pay cuts!

Making F1 too safe has netted the opposite result - drivers no longer consider the consequences of their actions on track and perform moves they wouldn't have dared to years ago.


the halo is in f1 from 2018. no other sport has the halo in use so they should rather all teams and drivers considering the halo should stay in f1 as there is no where else for them to go and use the halo apart from f1..


This is exactly the kind of attitude that makes ridiculous decisions like this possible. "It's F1 and there's nothing like F1, so they (the teams and fans) won't leave and accept anything.

Until a way to go is created... then the arrogance of F1 will be dealt with.

F1 viewer count and attendance has been in decline for years now, there's a reason for that... The Halo is yet another reason for people to stay away.

This WILL cost F1 dearly, I am 100% convinced of this.


And that shows you exactly which drivers are the cowards.

Stephen Taylor

This is an extremely nasty development . Not only does the Halo not look very nice but could it also cause it's own safety problems as the FIA extraction tests/procedures re concerned . It also means the driver will more likely have to grab on to a part of the car to help themselves out . This could be potentially hazardous for both marshals and drivers when touching any stationary car in the ERS is still considered to be live.


I'm not sure why this would be an issue. It's possible that the halo will actually aid the drivers by giving them something to grab on to and haul themselves up from what is an almost fully reclined positiono. Touching the thing will make no difference to the driver's safety - they'll still be earthed by the rest of the car. That's not the case for the marshals, but the Halo is no different from any other piece of bodywork in that regard.

Stephen Taylor

It will definitely hinder the getting to of the car -it make it more difficult for drivers to comply with FIA safety procedures. Your comment was a bit silly.


I guess the outlying components in the rest of the car will have to be re-designed so that none can pass under the halo should any break loose.

Imagine a scenario where debris hits the body work just in front of the halo and instead of bouncing off harmlessly into space is re-directed into the driver’s face by the underside of the ‘protective shield’.


space is quite a king way away.
by the way, the moment that piece of debris hits the halo, you could stop imagining and it won't hit the driver.


It's extremely unlikely that any component capable of seriously injuring a driver would do that. Anything with enough mass to do so would not be deflected to a sufficient degree. If you want to construct an argument against this thing, I suggest you start with one that doesn't depend on its designers being idiots who don't know the first thing about accidents in open wheel motorsport.


Jules Bianchi's crash was also very unlikely to happen.


excellent point.


You may want to speak to Massa about where that high speed spring would have ended up as it bounced off the underside of the halo device.


Or what if a chunk of front wing just gets wedged in there?


That last line won't be a concern on the Honda powered cars (assuming that there are any Honda powered cars next season) since they don't have enough juice left to do much more than tingle.

But seriously, both solutions present problems and no matter what they say I'm am far from convinced that those big gaping holes will stop small enough pieces of debris from impacting the drivers anyway.

Halo or not, F1 (and other motorsports) will always have an element of danger, at least until the FIA has them all driving the cars remotely from padded pods located in Bernie's secret underground bunker.

Sound ridiculous? Give it time...


what debris? when was the last time anything of consequence hit a driver? 10 years ago!,




Exactly. Design thicker helmets instead


With halo, i won´t see F1 in 2018


Terrible looking. Drivers are safe enough. Next they'll have IndyCar fenders.

Arnoud van Houwelingen

Isle of Mann TT is dangerous .. F1 not that much. In the last 10 years more deaths in Football and cycling for instance!


how many people take part in football and cycling compared with f1?


Ok, expend his comment to include other FIA regulated classes. Still true.

Apart from that, the higher risk compared to the higher number of people puts the balance back in.


fewer people die from boxing than hockey..


In order to prevent rare and unfortunate events, halo, which doesn't prevent small objects to hit helmets (Massa, Hungary), will add a continuous visibility problem, and for sure, makes more complicate the pilot to escape or to be rescued. Moreover, a broken halo, can be worse than nothing, in most of the common accidents.
Very smart...


all drivers tested it and said there were no visibility issues with the halo.


Why did FIA ban other smaller and less visible parts in front of the driver because of limiting visibility in the past?




It could potentially have deflected the spring that hit Massa. Probably not, but bear in mind it was bouncing along the track it's possible it could've hit the upper surface. The visibility intrusion is minimal - check the in-cockpit shots drivers have put on instagram. It's certainly a lot less than the pylon wings Sauber ran at Magny Cours in 06, for instance.

I'm not sure why people think the Halo complicates exit from the car. If anything, drivers will be able to use it to haul themselves up from their reclined driving position. In a situation where the driver is unable to extract himself, you'd just unbolt it in the same way they unbolt and remove the whole seat.

The dangerous 'broken halo' is the strangest idea of all. Anything massing enough to break the halo is going to be so big that it would've hit the driver anyway. It will shatter above its tolerance and the energy it absorbs in doing so won't be going into the driver, so it could still make a difference.


How would they "haul themselves up" when the car has flipped over and the halo is trapping them inside. Without the halo there is plenty of space afforded by the roll-hoop to get out. With the halo you have created three bars to a cage that contains the driver.


they have already tried it and it wasn't too difficult..


Can you point me to anything that backs up your claim of this being tested? Because people who would know say otherwise...


here you go..

can you show me "people who would know say otherwise"?

Stephen Taylor

Tell the drivers they'll be no problems when if their car sets on fire. You can't really grab the Halo and stand up as to be truly stood up you who have to detached the Halo.


Hhhmmm. What happened to the redbull one?

My concern is something might get wedged in there preventing escape


The teams were not in agreement, in fact Autosport is reporting quite the opposite:

"Sources say nine out of 10 teams voted against the Halo, but the FIA said it would become part of the regulations for 2018 on safety grounds, albeit with "certain features of its design" being "further enhanced".

The FIA have ignored the teams, the promoters and the fans and have forced this through to cover their own backs.


Hopefully Chase Carey will go and box Todt around the ears until he comes to his senses. Todt's sole contribution to F1 have been trashing the qualifying format and this.


Garbage, wet weather races will be banned next


The teams were not unanimous on this, quite the opposite in fact according to Autosport:

"Sources say nine out of 10 teams voted against the Halo, but the FIA said it would become part of the regulations for 2018 on safety grounds, albeit with "certain features of its design" being "further enhanced".

Sources say nine out of 10 teams voted against the Halo, but the FIA said it would become part of the regulations for 2018 on safety grounds, albeit with "certain features of its design" being "further enhanced".

The FIA have ignored the teams, the drivers, the promoters and the fans on this and are forcing this through on safety grounds' presumably to cover their own backs from any legal worries.


Why are you reporting the teams unanimously voted for the Halo, when Autosport reports 9 out of the 10 teams were against the Halo?


It was reported that 9 out of 10 teams voted against it. Let's be accurate here. Liberty wants new fans and we're going to make already very safe cars ugly. F1 should rid itself of a power hungry FIA. Teams should boycott this insane ruling.


No! No! No!


Massa will sleep well in the knowledge that a spring will never go through that massive gap again.


This is the final nail in the F1 coffin for me. Halo coupled with Pay TV, quiet engines, car park run-off area, tilke-a-drones tracks, etc, etc, it all adds up to make an unattractive product.


I am definitely not happy but what would get me through this is to think we have fathers, sons & brothers to protect


So sorry this will protect no-one.


You just tell your father, son, or brother to pilot a desk for a living instead, it's much safer.


Well that's it then, I'm out as of the end of the year. I will have to permanently switch to Indycar which will become the pinnacle of open cockpit racing.

The halo is a hideous solution that will have a debatable effect. Its a knee jerk reaction for political reasons and with the sport already on a precipice, this could be the one step too far. It certainly will be for me.

I hope the teams will be forced to launch the cars with this device on them, otherwise I'd argue it's false advertising.


As ugly and compromised as this halo is, once perfected in F1 it will definitely be heading over to Indycar too.


Looks like a NASCAR solution

The Grape Unwashed

I hate it. I have no problem with the windscreen, so long as they can make it work properly, but the Halo is revolting. They're rushing through a badly thought out solution.


It's easy for you to have no problem with it, you aren't the one trying to drive an F1 car while looking through it.


Sooo, we've unanimously approve the device that wouldn't have prevented any of the injuries or deaths from the last decade; its open in front and on top so it wouldn't have stopped the spring that hit Massa, Henri Surtees had the tire crash down on top of his head so this wouldnt have helped that either because shockingly leaving a hole big enough to let the driver get out of still lets something big enough to kill the driver come down through it, same goes for the guy who got hit by the nose cone in Indy it came down on top of his head and the compressive force broke his neck, and Vergne crashed into a road crane, this would have stopped that either... there are probably other examps, but hey we live in the #DOSOMETHING! world now so lets go ahead and force this abomination on the world anyways just because we are too lazy to think of something else to ruin instead.

I'm Shaking my head


It probably would've stopped Henry Surtees from being killed, actually. The wheel in that case came in from the side and struck the sidepod and cockpit simultaneously. The upper surface of the Halo would likely have kept it off him, or at least far enough away that he wasn't hit by the suspension assembly.


you may be right, in which case you have found the one exception. From any angle I had ever seen of that crash the angle of the tire was shallow, but it still landed on top of his head as the cause of death was not blunt force trauma (ie. suspension hitting him) it was neck fracture from the weight of the tire crashing down on top of him. The HALO (or any of the other solutions for that matter) would not prevent this unless it the opening in the top is made smaller, but then driver egress becomes an even bigger issue.


Henry wasn't driving an F1 car with double wheel tethers. His tragic accident has absolutely nothing to do with F1.


I know accidents where a seat belt caused deaths. I know accidents where air bags made things worse.
I know an accident where a little child died because law forced it to wear a helmet. Weak muscles and a compared to its head heavy helmet made its neck break on impact.
We can all agree that shit may happen. The halo may not be perfect, but if it will be 9 saved lives and one lost because of it - would you flame it?

If a windscreen is not fully closed and not carefully calculated into a cars aerodynamics, turbulences may appear and create wind forces playing with the drivers helmet.
Jet pilots don't need to judge a distance by the centimetre as a F1 driver needs to do at Monaco's walls. So a screen must be calculated for every driver to do as less disturbing as possible. And if it fools the eye for more than an inch accidents may happen because of it.
It is not easy, but a HALO may allow 3 cameras with a new look of the race 😉


"The halo may not be perfect, but if it will be 9 saved lives and one lost because of it - would you flame it?"

No I wouldn't, but see, that's the thing, this isn't a case of a safety device causing more harm than good in <1% of accidents (like seatbelts, airbags, etc), this is a case of a "safety" device that is not properly tested being forced on people under the auspices of "doing something" when it wouldn't have prevented single one of the injuries/deaths in the accidents that are being used as the very reason for why we need it. So your analogy while correct, isnt a relevant comparison.

This is at best "Safety Theater" and nothing more.

Stephen Taylorr

The teams didn't approve it. The FIA forced it through.


Agree with most. Think it would have stopped the JV accident though.

But this is a knee jerk reaction to a freak accident!


You are right of course, but that's not very devils advocate of you.


It's hideous.

I assume the FIA going to force this through for karting too. Would seem a bizarre mixed message from them if children are considered less vulnerable in open wheeled formulas than F1 drivers.


PHYSICS. I'm surprised racing fans are quite so ignorant of the subject. Kinetic energy increases as a square of the increase in velocity, so the potential energy involved in an F1 crash is an order of magnitude greater than that in karting. Kids in karts are inherently less vulnerable. If a loose wheel smacked you on the head in karting, you'd probably just have a headache.


It's not a case of being ignorant Kenny. It a case of making a judgement call based on risk.

Karting we are saying doesn't warranty head protection.

What about FIA Formula 4, 3 or 2?
What about FIA Formula E?
What about FIA Hillclimb?

All are, or have open cockpit, classes.

It cannot be possible that the only championship where there is risk to the driver in an open cockpit is Formula 1.

To apply protection to a single class makes no sense and is a mixed message. Worse still, If the FIA are applying head protection due to fear of litigation then they are implying they'll only act on head protection when there is a perceived risk of legal challenges and not based on safety concerns.


Terrible decision.Goodbye f1


Does this cascade down to all single seater categories like the HANS device?

Looks terrible. Maybe, they could reverse the higher cockpit sides, as the HALO will now protect the head adequately. It's just getting harder to see the drivers now.


No. The high sides do a very different job protecting from lateral "whiplash". I fully understand the need for high sides and the halo contributes nothing to this.


I agree that the drivers need a better protection piece. However, both options are just ughhh. I can't believe the so called geniuses couldn't come up with anything visually attractive after all the investments and years of discussions!


This is old backward"Bernie-type-thinking", (customer feelings be damned). The thing is a fan turn off. It is UGLY! I would rather see a clear enclosed cockpit with side panel knockouts on both sides that the driver and the rescue team can access. I have included a Williams concept which makes no front distortions in the canopy. At least use this model to cover this turd-looking device! Please!


hate it.


If they think viewership is down now then just wait until next year.....looks like my F1 watching career going back to 1986 is over with this nonsense.....I'm sure I'm not alone.


The shield looked ok. This design is just awfull, it's hard to imagine anything worse. And sure they still want to keep the open cockpit, but is it really? It looks lika a cage.


I don't like this development, but then again, I don't drive the cars.


I have watched F1 all of my life, but after this season that will be that. F1 has stopped shooting itself in the foot and started shooting itself in the head.

Why wheel out thos beautiful old cars in London only to make the cars look like such mingers from next year?

Bye F1. You got steadily worse over three decades.


I am so disappointed, the cars look hideous with that thing on them. Bad decision !


Apprently FIA wasn't worried about the image and reputation of F1 when they decided to deploy the glove drying rack. Next season will be happy days for all the internet jokers and meme makers.


Why not put 155mph limiters on the cars while we're at it?


I dunno...155 is still pretty dangerous :0


So this has been designed to stop a wheel hitting a driver. Isn't that what the tethers are for and work remarkably well. Alonso's crash in Oz last year, all the wheels remained on the car. They won't help protect in a Massa type accident. A small spring can easily get through, and also the halo could potentially deflect a small spring into a drivers helmet which would otherwise miss the driver. Poor decision, and especially after Ross Brawn said there would be no more 'knee jerk' reactions, something this seems to be after only 1 track test of the screen. Today the nails in the F1 coffin have started to be hammered in.


Final straw. F1 is dead to me, I'm not even joking. DRS, halos, stupid circuits, pointy noses, Pirelli tyres, no refuelling sprints, economy endurance engines, dumb penalties... the list goes on.

I can still enjoy old season reviews and computer games and memories instead.


I concur! Also, I may add that after the amazing run of seasons from 2005-2009 I can't believe how the wheels have progressively fallen off F1. I thought Ross could turn it all around,but maybe not...


I think they destroy the looks of the cars! That said it would probably have saved Jules Bianchis life so very hard to say "no, we won't do it". F1 safety has come on a huge amount and I guess this is the next step on the ladder of upgrades. Shane though as it will make the cars look awful! But I am not driving one so it's only the drivers opinion that has any value

Stephen Taylorr

It wouldn't have saved Bianchi.


It would not have saved his life. Read about his injuries to learn why not.


Terrible decision. Like wider society, F1 has become about risk minimisation in an absolute sense, rather than letting adults make sensible trade offs. Will injury risk be reduced slightly by halo? Yes, probably. Is that benefit enough to offset the horrible looking cars and the sense that drivers are no longer gladiators, but fragile butterflies that need protection? No, not really. No driver actually wants this because any racing driver knows there are risks and accepts them. I love F1 witba my heart, and this is soooooo lame.


There will be a hoo har, the end of the sport will be predicted, the last one to leave will be asked to turn out the lights, but this time next year we will have stopped noticing the halos. A bit like shark fins.....


I know what you mean Tim but on this occasion I'm not so sure. This is too drastic a change to the DNA of F1.


You don't notice the coat hangers wiggling all over the place? You don't notice the whiteboard onnthe back of the Willians and how fugly it is?

Not very observant of you....would explain some things though 😉


I don't have a problem with the fins or the wobbly "coat hangers". I can see the sense in them because an engineer has found that they are beneficial to the car's performance. All part of the F1 technology race, ugly or not.

The halo is different. No team (or at least 9/10 teams) want it. It does not advance the technology of the sport in any way, and it's safety credibility is highly questionable.


Its becoming a boring sport now, I watch Indy Cars more this season, much more exciting. Take the drivers out and sit them on a simulator if they are so scared of driving for real. That is where the sport will end up, remote driving or take the drivers out altogether. A computer would do better than they do. Sky will be a killer for getting the fans in. I gave up sky ages ago, life is much better.


And I unanimously agree to stop watching F1 in 2018 once once that abomination is implemented. As I said in another post, lets just make the cars autonomous and that way there is no risk whatsoever; and robots can handle the pitstops. What could be safer!


Fans could get hurt! Racing period is stupid, immature, dangerous, and has no place is a grown up, modern, 21st century society. Formula Knitting (FK!) is a much more sensible alternative....although Seb might be tempted to throw a ball of yarn at Lewis, which would set a terrible example to all the little pussy cats of the world.


Formula pussies

Tornillo Amarillo

It's perfect for a Flip-flop sponsor !!!


Speedo, Banana Republic, Ripcurl, Swim Co. The possibilities are endless.


It's not even on the cars yet and holy crap they've already turned it into an aero device...why am I not surprised?

Yes, I know it's not real, but ohhh F1, look what you've become 😐




This is a terrible decision. An absolute band-aid fix for a problem that barely exists: it would not have prevented the Bianchi or Massa incidents (the spring hit Massa around eye level, which would go through one of those gaping holes).

Not to mention that similar devices in the driver's eye-line have been banned previously, and also complicates driver extraction in the event of a roll-over - which happens more frequently than a driver being directly hit with debris.

Plus I thought nearly all teams (9/10) were opposed to the Halo? So much for solidarity. A hasty decision based on what Vettel said about his solution, which he barely tried last weekend? Daniel Ricciardo tested one last year and didn't seem to mind.

At a time when the sport struggles with retaining popularity and granting access, I cannot imagine that a kid would want a picture of such a monstrosity on their bedroom wall. This is now the second time in the last 10yrs that the FIA have intervened with butt-ugly devices (step noses, and now this) on the grounds of "SaFeTy".


Case in point!


Actually i think that driving with this 'thong root' dead square in the centre of my vision must be terribly disconcerting and difficult. Time to go back to the aero screen and perfect that.


Completely agree. So i am wondering why FIA has come to this decission. James, i think you and other journos should ask for more explanation. What they mention on their website is shockingly in the absence of any factsheet.


Hi James,
I think it might be timely to conduct a poll of your readers on this issue.


What about an official petition? To get some hard numbers of how many people are soaked in urine from laughing at Formula Thong.


Perhaps, but it would be the most unnecessary poll since...ever.


And the fans express their disappointment "oh, s#....."


The cockpit screen is the only viable solution IMO that meets the aesthetic needs of F1.

Would have rather waited until they perfected it..

Also - how much safety have we lost from the drivers not having clear and unobstructed vision from the cockpit? Will this impact reaction times?


Hate it.

So 2017 we got better looking cars, 2018 we get the halo?!

I'm not really convinced that it will that effective stopping debris anyway. Big bits, sure. But what about small things? Surely they'll all be able to get through?

And with all due respect to Massa, how often have drivers been hurt being hit by debris? I can't think of many occasions.

Oh well, I can't watch F1 on FTA tv much anymore anyway....


The one and only driver to be hurt by debris from another car in F1 was Massa, going back at least 30 years, probably more.


Correct and the Halo wouldn't even have prevented the Massa accident.

Fulveo Ballabeo

An abomination. Without doubt, the worst thing F1 could do. How can so many smart people make so many dumb decisions?

There's already an answer for drivers that don't want to drive open-cockpit: go drive sportscars.

I've loved F1 for years. But with the halo, I honestly can't stand to look at cars this ugly. After slapping fans in the face for years, this is one step too far.

If I can't stand the cars, I'm unlikely to watch the races. For the good of the sport I love, I hope there aren't many like me. But fear the opposite.


I just cant imagine this was the best solution aesthetically. And it's hard to make a solution that wont make it a non open cockpit, so they might as well go with some form of shield, or jet fighter style that will come with a robot. They will have their own specific numbers at least;) Or why not a retro Targa top/T-top.


I do have one question, about the 'Shield' - Vettel said it distorted the view, which one could expect of a 'bent perspex screen'. But since the principal is supposed to be based on canopies for aircraft - a question for fighter pilots perhaps? - do fighter pilots have this same distorted visibility problem? And what about those other car racing series mentioned before that use The Shield? I'm confused why they weren't aware of this visibility problem before they bolted it onto a Ferrari to let a driver to "try out"...


I highly doubt Ferrari contact McDonald Douglas or Lockheed Martin to get all their secrets on how to make a canopy. That device they had at Silverstone looked rather amateur.

On top of that, fighter jets tend to not deal with situations where they constantly have objects and Earth close to them. If a pilot had to fly an F22 through a tunnel, they might experience something similar.

Last, the visor on Seb's helmet. Again, not designed to look through a secondary piece of curved "glass". The visor on the helmet needs to be designed to work in conjunction with the screen to eliminate distortion and glare.

And these clowns call themselves engineers. Formula Joke.


Apparently Webber tested the fighter pilot shield solution a while back and reported that everything looked normal.


Does this mean every open cockpit racing series gets the halo? Maybe bits only fly off F1
cars in an accident.


"Maybe bits only fly off F1 cars in an accident"

Sadly that's very not true.


Complete and total BS if it isn't applied in lower formulae (where it might actually do something ala Surtees).

F1 wheel tethers and carbon fibre everything pose hardly any risk.

One car launching over another? Increase the side heights before enclosing the cockpit, in my onion. I'd rather a 1996 Ferrari than a Haloed one.


Wow that is the dumbest,, ugliest thing F1 have ever done. Still won't stop Mass like incidents being hit by small debris . Please note the protection carting and MotoGP drivers and riders have.... none! Nanny state. One driver has an accident in the wet when they should have slowed they cars more. He ran into a marshals truck because it was there when it shouldn't have been. Smart thing is to not bring the truck out until they are all behind the safety car. You miss a couple of laps but not a driver. Looks like it's MotoGP for me. Safety isn't about wearing a helmet or safety boots. That's the last resort it's about removing the risk in the first place. Don't bring the truck/crane until cars are behind the safety car... simple and safer


Cockpit G-strings aren't sexy.


No doubt, when the historians write down their text books, they will always credit Vettel and Ricciardo for having blessed the fans with the halo as they were the biggest campaigners of head protection

On the other side of the scale we have drivers like Lewis and Hulkenburg who said F1 should keep it's good looks over safety because danger is something all drivers sign up for as it gives them that extra bit of adrenaline.


Bad decision! Has it been tried in lower single seater, open-cockpit classes, James, and if it has, how did it go when it was tried in the lower classes?


Really has anyone actually done a proper safety justification of ALARP argument.

I'm sure there are unintended consequences with device and I don't see it stopping many objects now that wheel tethers seem so good. What is the design basis for it? What is actually meant to protect against. I'm sure no one believes that this would have any difference at all to the Bianchi incident and I'm not convinced it would have mitigated the Massa spring accident.


Goodbye F1. It's been great (mostly) but everybody has their limits, and I can take no more.


While the Halo is not very appealing visually, greater safety is welcome.

Reading your previous article, I can understand why it won over the shield which causes more visibility issues (distortion/reflection), has a different design for rain conditions and night conditions, which can't be tested until too late in the year.

It could be a better idea for driver visibility to have a Halo with 2 side pillars rather than the currently proposed single central pillar.

Fulveo Ballabeo

Tipped noses? Starting to lose interest in F1.

Vacuum cleaner PU's? Losing more interest.

Shark fins? Losing more interest.

T-wings? Losing more interest.

Halo? I'm gone.

James McPastilhas

This might solve the problem of loose wheels or even tractor bumbers from hitting the drivers' heads but what about smaller debris, like the spring that hit Massa's helmet in Hungary 2009? Such smaller parts might deflect from the lower side of the halo and struck the drives in the chest, like a bullet, rather that hit a safety helmet (that have been mandatory to be stronger since Massa's spring case). Will drivers now also be made to use bullet proof vests to protect them from such eventualities?

Stephen Taylor

It would not have saved Bianchi. To suggest it would have is foolish.


It looks like it has a 1/10 chance of having addressed the Massa issue too. Short of a large object bouncing towards a driver unfavourably, it doesn't seem to address much.


Ridiculous. Disgusting. I'm not paying money to watch those travesties. I'm not paying to watch our "heroes" hide behind their little cage.

MotoGP and WSBK it is then ...


I dont like it. Period. Will it really have any effect? Doubt it. Permissive society gone
Wrong as usual


A very sad decision which will, IMO, play out badly.


I much preferred the look of the shield, myself, but I'm not the one that has to drive looking through it at 330 km/h.

There have been a couple of close calls on quasi-decapitations (Grosjean flying dangerously close to Alonso's head at Spa?), so I can support the Halo idea, not sure it would have saved Jules, nor would it have saved Massa, really... so it's really about protecting against flyaway tires and airborne cars as missiles, I suppose.

If they do nothing and there's a preventable severe neck injury in the future, everyone will want Todt's head for being too hands-off, so I think we're best to support driver safety, looks be damned.

And it is damn ugly.


terrible idea- this will only limit to certain things passing through the "halo" at least the shield would have blocked the smallest objects even a fly- imho both and any devise is a bad idea- also what about elevation changes and trying to see something in front of you - you'll now have a giant bar in your field of view- and let's not forget it'll now be one more step to get out of the car in an emergency or if flipped can they get out at all????


Ignore it and it will go away... damn, that never works. Very sad. In 2015 our cars were made to sound like battery operated lawnmowers. In 2017 they were made to look like ultra quick mobile phone towers... with shark fins (insert slap to forehead here). In 2018 we get to see giant G Strings powered by battery operated lawnmowers. Is this a joke? Sadly, no. F1 is already looking down the barrell of irelevance. Its one undeniable, marketable, shining light being the sleekness and sexiness of its cars, and the brave drivers that pilot them. Am i paying for foxtel next year? I think its finally broken me.


What a bunch of kitty cats...


I can't believe this is the best solution either aesthetically or from a practical perspective. While the halo will protect against larger objects like wheels I don't see how it will prevent the sort of incident that Mazda suffered when a small component from a leading car became a projectile. Surely the sheild is a better solution.


I'm curious...exactly what kind of debris is this supposed to deflect. It probably wouldn't stop the spring that hit Massa. Wheels are tethered. Bits of carbon and whatnot will just go inside it because it's basically a roll cage. It wouldn't have saved Bianchi.

I literally have no idea what this is for. It is ugly and seems like a political move from the FIA to show that they're committed to safety. Maybe so Jean can look like he does something?

I'd love to see a poll on this site asking whether people think the halo belongs in F1.


Gross, hideous!


You're repeating the FIA's deliberating misleading "unanimously agree" statement. Have another look at the statement... the unanimous agreement they're referring to is in 2016, when the Strategy Group all agreed to head protection in general being needed. Other sources are saying 9 out of 10 teams opposed the Halo introduction for 2018.

It's very worrying that FIA are using phrases like "with drivers support" to mislead fans on this issue (and you shouldn't be falling for it). Everyone agrees safety is a good idea, but the halo will be a disaster for the sport without helping anyone.


Drivers support it , racers do not. Big difference. Lets make the list shall we ?


So cars will look like flip-flops on wheels from 2018 onward. Liberty Media would be pleased.


I hoped and prayed they wouldn't introduce this thing! I don't know what to say!👎😢 The last death in F1 due to safety was senna. Bianchi's death was due to poor regulations! I still don't believe we'll see them!

James I this a blanket rule for F2 and F3 as well?!


That wasn't mentioned but it will be hard for them not to roll it out across all their categories

Surtees was killed by a flying wheel in F2 after all


James, are you planning a follow up article that clearly enunciates the massive groundswell of rejection since the announcement? The headline for this article is also misleading insofar as we now know that it was massively rejected by the teams...if reports are true 90% of teams did not support the FIA's decision. So the teams, F1 commentators and fans have all called for it to be rejected. That alone should be worthy of a follow up? I have also read that certain teams 'leant' on their drivers to support certain decisions! Is that true? Have you heard that as well? Do you know who those teams were and would you publish their names? Seems like many issues need to be tidied up.

Tornillo Amarillo

What happened to the tether ?


James, judging by the overwhelming negative reaction from this article alone, will Liberty not be worried about losing a lot of fans? And therefore step in to say 'actually we're not doing this'.


Yes but they also won't want to interfere on this side of the sport

Especially only a few months into their tenure


@ James, surely their tenure has nothing to do with it. They are the body now running the show and irrespective of how long they've been in the job they need to be proactive as this has a long term effect on attendances and building bridges to those they wish to become future fans.

Tornillo Amarillo

Yes, thanks, I was asking for this answer, the son of John Surtees... Henry Surtees death in F2 in 2009 is still very painful, how not to try to do something about it, it's perfectly understandable.


Surely wheel tether should be rolled out then. "Simple" engineering that will fall in price with increased volume associated with wider use,

Stephen Taylorr

The only person the Halo might have saved is Senna.


How so? Senna's death was caused by one of the suspension supports breaking loose and piercing his helmet upon impact. The Halo still has a massive open space for the same accident to happen with the identical circumstances.

One thing that worries me about the Halo is that if there is any debris flying about, the drivers helmet would take the force of it due to how low they sit in the car. With the halo, there's a chance that the debris could hit the Halo structure at the wrong angle, which would send the debris flying towards the driver's chest/body which is completely unprotected. Can you imagine that scenario happening in Hungary 2009? Massa's body could have been punched a hole by the spring flying at that high speed, like a bullet. Not a nice thought.


where is the logic in tethering the wheels to the cars if "one of the suspension pieces came off and pierced his helmet" as you claim?


The suspension was still attached to the wheel - hence the fatal amount of force.
I'm anti anti anti anti halo btw, but those are the facts.


To be fair the Halo probably would have saved Surtees, but why not keep investing in stronger wheel tethers!? Now days we rarely ever see a wheel come loose and pinball across the track.. The only thing this Halo concept protects you from is a wheel or a larger piece of bodywork; Massa's accident in 09 would still happen with it in place.

I'm usually quite reserved in venting frustration over the internet, but this has really got me. If they implement this next year It will be embarrassing!

Stephen Taylor

Well i'm not sure it would have . Anyway if you want to stop flying wheels just improve wheel tethers it's that simple . Also if a larger piece of bodywork was to fall of that could dangerous if it becomes 'attached to the halo or hits the halo with such force the halo becomes dislodged and becomes a safety risk .


I only follow F1 these days as it's like driving past a train wreck. Can't take my eyes off it! Maybe that's their method of gaining more viewers...


Hi all
It seems silly to me that these 2017 spec cars were (partly) designed to be more aesthetically pleasing.
Everyone applauded.
Then we get those stupid ugly shark fins, aerials and t-wings. Talk was they would be banned in 2018 to make the cars look nicer.
Everyone applauded again.
Now this. SIGH.
2 steps forward, minimum 10 steps back.


exactly !


FIA picked the ugliest solution possible to the question of driver head protection. This is atrocious looking compared to the shield. IMO more time needed to be devoted to perfecting the shield concept. After all military fighter planes use a similar canopy design and pilots don't complain about impaired vision.
Again F1 fans are left dancing with the ugliest partner available. Usual two steps forward with closer racing than before but 3 steps back with UGLY looking cars.


So in 2018, we'll have crappy looking cars, crappy sounding cards, driving around crappy Hermann Tilke tracks. Not a great way to keep fans or attract new ones.


I don't understand how this device would have saved Massa in Hungary from the damper spring that came lose?


I doubt it would've! That spring hit him just above the left eye..


It wouldn't.


Horrible choice .shield was fine


Holy s**t! Well I guess they finally did, F1 is f***ed for good!
And I really did believe that a guy like Ross Brawn could turn it all around.
Not only is it almost impossible to view F1 on TV, now I won't want to look at them either. Time to switch off.


So Vettel does 5 laps, get's a bit woozy and that's that. How many drivers have tested a shield and a halo? I thought F1 was about testing something until they get it right.
The FIA feeling good about themselves seems to be all that really matters.


He only drove 1 lap.


My thoughts exactly. Just ONE driver tried it, and I believe that was just for the installation lap only (1 lap) and he didn't like it. Suppose all the other drivers tried it, and they were "ok" with it. Would it have been in favour of the halo then?


There is a difference between a jet fighter and a f1-driver. The F1-driver is forced more often to look to the sides. A wall at Monaco where you have to judge the distance to a centimetre with a screen which may fool the view just enough to hit it? Clear advantage here for the Halo.
My hope is that the thick Halo allows to add three cameras: eye level front, eye level left and right.
It would allow for great views at overtakes and wheel to wheel battles.


I'm not sure how this helps much? The driver has room to come out of either one but this only stops something big coming head on.

I've never seen this but it seems to me like some combination of both systems would work better and look better. Maybe two pieces side by side with Lexan there would be better I dunno but a piece of something in front of the drivers face is bad.

Just enclose the cockpit and put wipers on the front. That solution is proven already....


Add "mudguards" and doors and voila you have LMP1


I've paid a lot of money over the years to see F1 races in the flesh. To see the gladiators in the flesh and the amazing and mostly beautiful machinery in real life. If I can't see the driver and the cars look like mobile scaffolding I won't be bothering any more. I'll still watch on TV but pay a fortune to see this travesty? Forget it. Wonder how many other lifelong fans feel the same way.


I won't even bother to watch it on TV.


Hopefully they are actually a safety upgrade and not a downgrade due to being an obstacle in the drives line of sight. But ugly.

Problem in F1? The engines. They have not improved the sport, they have guaranteed and delivered a monopoly at the top, they have shout out new engine manufacturers (who would enter after seeing Honda fail so badly) and, for all this, they have cost an unbelievable amount. F1 is just NOT about fuel economy. Chuck em out, chuck em out asap!


Why does the FIA – and everyone else – just ignore the major design defect? If a rogue wheel falls from *above* (as happened in the lethal incident that triggered all this), it can *still* hit the driver's head!


So ... while I was looking forward to seeing awesome F1 cars next year without fins and without T-wings and such crap (excuse my French) ... they just managed to screw that up as well. For shame.


Don't like the Halo, but to leave F1 because of it is stupid. Back in the '70s when they started to introduce wings to the cars, there was a huge outcry about that from the drivers and the public as they were viewed as dangerous and ugly. Now F1 cars would look really odd without them.


I think from a corporate standpoint its very difficult to vote against anything that is supposedly going increase safety. Imagine a large brand like Mercedes or Ferrari voting against something like this and then in the next race a driver suffers a fatal injury which the halo may of prevented. Thats a lot of avoidable bad press coming yours and your sponsors way and in todays world there may also be possible legal consequences. I'm sure it was a decision that wasn't taken too lightly, i reckon the suits in the boardrooms would have had a large say. I'm not sure how these ballots are cast, i wonder if a secret confidential vote had taken place would the result have been unanimous or even different.


Looks ugly

May save lives. I am volunteer firefighter and i have seen too much nasty accidents. I am a big fan of more safety.
Don't know if it is discussed yet- but a camera position in height of the drivers eyes could be possible, giving a more realistic view?
Also sideway cameras could be installed into the halo, giving a yet not seen view of wheel to wheel battles

In my oponion, if there could be cameras in the halo, the videos could be a lot more dramatic. Hell i would allways go for a more dramatic view of a race than for the look of a car.


Yeah, a spring would never make it through those massive gaps and save Massa...


Red Bull X2010. McLaren MP4/X. Supermarine Spitfire. P-51 Mustang. F-22 Raptor. What do they all have in common? Something the FIA cannot achieve. Attractive enclosed cockpits capable of withstanding bullets and very high speed bird strikes. Pilots and drivers can be seen through them. Yet F1 cannot manage something similar?

This decision is awful.

One lap of testing and shield is discarded. One lap! It wasn't my favourite idea but it is a hell of a lot better than the HALO.


The Halo might only be a stop-gap measure while they develop the shield concept more.

But could part of the issue be the are trying to design something which in essence bolts onto the cars as they are today rather than a car design which incoperates it from the start.


While we all appreciate that driver safety is paramount....the halo is truely hideous and could in fact hinder driver safety.

I wonder how many drivers, if given the choice would chose not to use it next season?


That was the first thing Lewis said. "If we have a choice, I ain't having it on my car."


How come other sources are saying everyone but one team "unanimously" voted against the idea?

Was this a case of the FIA saying you'll all agree "unanimously"?

Terrible idea in any case. People will still be injured our killed with it in place.


Don't commercial jets have flat panes? Surely they could knock up a clear screen that doesn't have distortion in a short time.


My highest hope is that the halo is integrated into the chassis/body in a more fluid, attractive manner than we've seen so far. I am open to the change and remain an optimist for the 2018 season and onwards. Let's just wait and see.. Would I prefer an open cockpit forever? Yes. But I feel it's important to make peace with the halo from hereon, which should hopefully prompt a complete redesign of the 'modern' F1 look, which has stuck around since the late 60s. Im bored with it, and I'm ready for some radicalism to truly shake up the sport. This may or may not be the right direction, but I feel it's time.

Stephen Taylor

No it really isn't time to make peace the Halo as it causes it's own safety risk as well as looking ugly.


James; would the Halo have saved either Jules or Justin? may the rest in peace. And Looking at Monaco this year with Pascals Sauber on its side against the wall, would he be abel to get out in time incase of fire?
And would a driver get out in 5 sec if a car was on its back in the gravel after it skidded to a halt, in my humbel opinion the car would dig in to the gravel as always but now a side exit would be difficult if not downwright impossible without help.

i would appreciate your's and the other readers views.


It's sad, but I don't think anything could have saved jules in that situation. It was such a horrible accident. The weight of the tractor, not to mention the speed he hit it with, it doesn't bare thinking about! 🙁 It was more a failure of regulations rather than safety..

Stephen Taylor

No it would not have saved Bianchi I can you assure of that -particularly as as Jules had front on head impact.


That is ugly, surely with all the boffins working in F1 they could have come up with something better looking. That being said, the shield wasn't too bad but drivers getting dizzy during a GP probably isn't good for safety!

This device would not have saved Jules, nor would it have prevented Massa's incident. Helmets have been improved since Hungary '09, they have better protection above the visor. This probably would have saved Maria de Villota and Henry Surtees; but Surtees accident was in F2 and not F1 so unless they mandate this across all formula then why start with F1? Loose wheels are a rarity these days, and wheel tethers were introduced off the back of the death of marshals - Monza and Melbourne.

It really is ugly and I can see the need for some protection but surely there must be a better looking solution than this!

Stephen Taylor

Surtees possibly. De Villota probably not.


This is ridiculous, the drivers are paid huge sums of money to take the risks, no one forces them to do it. We the fans pay large sums of money to watch them drive fast dangerous cars. We don't want to see them injured or killed but we do like to see the potential danger.
So now let's put rubber bumpers around the cars and tell drivers they have give way at corners and no overtaking except on the straights. It's ridiculous, time to change to a different sport with participants taking real risks. F1 is becoming really boring now.


Awful. It won't stop me watching, but massively detracts from the sport. They should have given themselves another 2 years to get the windshield solution working correctly. At least that solution would actually stop Massa-type incidents. This only deals with half of the safety concerns.

Arnoud van Houwelingen

I honestly think that a halo will be more dangerous because it limits the view in the cockpit. this view up hill in eau rouge Spa doesn't look right!


The moore I actually think about it, the more convinced I am we'll never see this horrible thing in a race, but I'm afraid it's just denial. After all the talk and efforts about making the cars look faster, cooler, sexier, meaner we end up with this. Open cockpit it's not. All we will see is someone lurking under the shadows of this cage or peeping out off a gigantic beach equipment if you like.


2018 I am done with F1.


Once again FIA have not listened to the people who pay good money to watch and participate.


Decades ago F1 was too dangerous, and I think everyone can agree it's good that F1 is a lot safer since 1994.

I'm not sure you can make motor racing much safer now though. Would the halo have stopped a spring from hitting Massa in Hungary? Possibly not. Would the halo have saved Bianchi? No.

It looks ugly, adds more weight, and whilst it might offer some protection from the sort of horrific accident Henry Surtees had, I think in 99.999% of cases, it will do nothing.

I don't like the argument about there being legal implications if there was a freakish accident which a halo might have prevented. Racing cars at high speed will always have an element of danger.

The shield has not had enough testing to simply discard the idea in favour of the halo. Personally - I think F1 is fine as it is.