Insight: How F1’s engineers have risen to the Halo design challenge
Posted By:   |  30 Nov 2017   |  9:28 am GMT  |  145 comments

With the introduction of the Halo cockpit protection concept for 2018, Formula 1’s leading engineers have had a brand new design problem to solve, seeking to integrate the Halo into the car’s monocoque with the minimum of compromise.

Formally introduced in July, the Halo was approved by the FIA for mandatory use next season, despite opposition from nine of the ten teams on the current F1 grid. This has resulted in a number of teams having to make wholesale changes to their monocoque designs, just as many were reaching completion.

The reason for this is thanks to the different loading patterns on the chassis that the Halo will bring. After being tested by the FIA, teams were belatedly provided with expected figures and targets which the Halo design is expected to meet.

Although the Halo itself is provided by an external supplier to all teams, the monocoque and roll structure must sustain peak loads of up to 88kN during crash testing.

This means that teams will have to replicate the tests in their simulations before attempting the real thing. To understand the loading and stress distributions in their chassis designs, engineers use “finite element analysis” tools to assess and develop the ideal loading patterns on the car, without compromising on performance.

As the real Halo will be built into the structure of the car, rather than simply attached to the car as has been seen in test runs, it meant that some teams had to backtrack on their design programs to accommodate the variation in point loads.

The 15kg added by the Halo’s inclusion will also produce an effect on balance, magnified by the FIA’s decision to raise the minimum weight limit by just 6kg – providing a disadvantage to the heavier drivers on the grid.

Furthermore, the Halo itself must be able to keep its structural integrity should any of the rest of the survival cell become damaged. It’s all a very fine balancing act.

“[The Halo] knocks on big time to the chassis definition,” Nick Chester told Autosport in July.

“It’s a little bit painful, as we’re right into that process of trying to finalise our chassis schemes and the loadings from it are quite big, so it affects all the structure in the chassis.

“It has quite a big impact; outside the chassis it won’t have much of an effect on car performance, so it’s just the actual design of the chassis to take the loads which is difficult.”

Force India’s chief operating officer Otmar Szafnauer even speculated that the late introduction of the Halo may even delay some teams’ appearance in next year’s winter testing, owing to a delay in construction.

“It may delay next year’s car,” said Szafnauer to in August.

“There’s a finite amount of time to design and build a monocoque, and there is a finite amount of time that it takes to design and make a monocoque. If we don’t get definition in that timeframe, all it does is it delays when it’s produced.

“Right now, it looks like we may not be able to produce it in time for testing.”

In addition to the structural considerations, F1’s aerodynamicists have also been hard at work trying to mitigate the effect of the halo’s inclusion. Situated just in front of the cockpit, the halo creates wake which interferes with the flow into the air intake downstream.

The FIA has granted teams the opportunity to append non-structural fairings to the halo, as long as it complies with the defining regulations and does not impede driver egress, of which the minimum mandated time is expected to rise from five seconds. Performing an extraction test with Valtteri Bottas in Abu Dhabi, the FIA found he had taken twice as long to get out of the car.

These fairings will help teams to minimise the wake produced by the Halo, removing any hindrance on cooling.

As seen from the image above, McLaren ran in the post-Abu Dhabi Grand Prix test with its own interpretation of an aerodynamic fairing on the Halo, doused in flow-viz paint to allow the trackside engineers to assess the resultant flow structures.

The shape of the fairing helps to pick up laminar flow passing over the top of the Halo and directs it downwards, helping to feed the intake and manage the wake created by the structure. Toro Rosso also trialled an aerodynamic fairing, electing to run a single element to produce the same effect.

The top-down view displays the intricacies in the fairing design. The outboard structure of the fairing are shaped to manage the resultant vortices emanating from the tips, and McLaren has monitored this with an array of Pitot tubes to assess the changes in pressure produced by the changes in flow.

McLaren and Toro Rosso became the first of the teams to assess the aerodynamic changes created by the Halo, and it’ll be interesting to see what other teams come up with over the winter as they seek to extract the tiniest of advantages.

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With 90% rejection from the teams what the hell are we doing ? It will still not help the likes of Henry Surtees, Jules Bianchi and Massa. What a stupid mess they are making it. Maybe they will have to flatten the hills for future hill climbing events.


The hole Halo is a bad idea. Think about how often debris has hurt or effected a driver! Poor Massa in Italy when Rubans part smacked him on the side of the head. Now I have only missed 3 races since 1995 and thats the only incident I can recall.

It will be Air Bags next!


Not a fan of the Halo. Apart from the theories around it’s origin, it’s questionable effectiveness and the negative aesthetic impact, for me it is a glaring outwardly obvious statement of everything that is wrong with modern F1. It is too compromised by ‘non F1′ input. If it doesn’t make the car faster, louder, more fun to drive, more exciting to watch, or make the racing closer, then it is a waste of Formula 1 energy, money and time. F1 cars should be the fastest, loudest, most dangerous cars on the planet, with the closest racing and proper consequences for getting it wrong. I’m not suggesting a return to the ’70s where 4 guys a year lost their lives, but an element of danger is inherent in motorsport, and taking calculated risks should carry reward and punishment. If a driver feels F1 is too dangerous without Halo, then he should be free to drive something else, there will always be 22 guys with the ability and desire to fill a grid. Stirling Moss once used the analogy of someone walking along a 2″ wide plank of wood, no one cares if you do it with the plank on the ground, anyone can do that. Suspend the plank 100’ off the ground, and you can sell tickets.


The top-down view displays the intricacies in the fairing design. The outboard structure of the fairing are shaped to manage the resultant vortices emanating from the tips, and McLaren has monitored this with an array of Pitot tubes to assess the changes in pressure produced by the changes in flow.

Just a suggestion but if referring to fine aero details in description it would probably be better to include a full resolution photo to go with it rather than the low resolution one provided where we can’t actually make out any of the details.


I’ve been following F1 since the mid-1950s. I have never seen such a preposterous ruling by those that are not in the cockpit. It would NOT have benefitted Messrs. Senna, Bianchi, Massa or H. Surtees etc. in the slightest. This will surely lead to ever more daft ideas. Sorry, but F2 is far more exciting to watch.


Hard to decide which one is worse, three engines per season or Halo. Only two out of four engine manufacturers has the hardware that is reliable enough to potentially survive the tightened engine rules. And Halo is just gross overreaction.


What a Fcking disaster! F1 has become a complete joke. I can’t wait to see a driver die because of this getting in the way of getting out or smashing them in the face.


The hall is the departure point for me from F1. I’ve followed the sport since 1993 when I was 7 years old, and like many have endured a lot of frustration and disappointment with it over the years, mixed amongst the many epic moments and stories that remind you how great it can be.
But with my interest waning in these recent years of Merc domination, unappealing cars, artificial contrivences, and too many either boring or unlikeable drivers, the halo is the last straw. It means that F1 is no longer the premier open-wheeler category in the world, and therefore it has finally and completely lost touch with its dna, soul and history. As such it holds no further history for me, and I’m out. It is no longer Formula 1. So it’s just down to GTs (which is still REAL racing) and MotoGP for me. Formula E? Not even a consideration.


Bloody stupid thing


Yeah I wonder what Mercedes will do because they are most likely the one team that wanted it.

Is it possible for fins to be sticking all over these things?


Althought this issue has united F1 fans we are unfortunatley just viewed as disorganized fickle rabble by the FIA (and F1 management I’m sure) – and they might have a point actually.

Fans need a way to speak with a united voice. If we could manage unity we could crush this kind of nonsense. A single opinion poll? ( I know there are a bunch out there), some kind of Fan organization?, voting with our dollars?

I don’t think complaining on forums is going to cut it (but it is better than silence so we should keep it up!).

So….what do we want to do?

Hello Halo Bye F1

We unfollow F1 from all social media don’t watch the races live, don’t go to a Grand Prix’s, and don’t buy merchandise, read about the results and follow from afar and see what develops. When they have no one watching it they will fix it like qualifying got fixed then we return to following watching etc.. should they provide a suitable product. This is a Mercedes invention you can be sure I will never buy a Mercedes road car and disuade anyone who may be contemplating one since I am the “car nut” most of my friends ask me for advice and opinions on all things racing and automotive. I will definitely tell them to stay away from Mercedes products for creating this abomination. It is also due to people like Bianchi’s family and Paul Walkers daughter trying to make gains from their loved one losses. Their loved ones assumed a risk and lost, suing will not fix the issue or bring them back. I am done with F1 unfollowed them and FIA on social media. I still have the drivers for now. Will follow the sport from a distance most likely here. No more waking up at 5am, staying up 24hrs because Suzuka starts at 2am etc.. The halo, watching a marathon instead of the 100M dash with this conservation of engines fuel, tires etc.overweight cars, loss of that magical symphony of high revs NA engines and always the promise of a fix or better racing to come in X year yet nothing ever gets fixed and all the false hopes that never live up to the hype like Ham vs Vet kinda deflated and never really materialized properly.


I absolutely hate the halo.


@ Lewis Hamilton…and here i was thinking that you’d love to have a ‘halo’ and all that it represents seeing as though a mention in the New Years honors list seems definitely a non starter.


You can keep rolling turd in sugar, but it ain’t never gonna be a jam donut.

Pretty much my feelings about the halo.


But a turd rolled in sugar might fool someone into thinking that it’s a chocolate donut. And that seems to be good enough for the FIA, unfortunately.


I think we have been fooled into believing halo is designed to protect the drivers in unimaginable tragic accident that happened to Bianchi. Halo is designed to protect the FIA from lawsuits, which allows them to say they have done everything possible to protect the drivers. How can we really blame them for this when people are always seeking compensations?


Hopefully we are not going down that same road as Indy cars have gone. Because of the cars flying they have wrapped a load of crap around the back end of the car…..ugly is the only word to describe it. When it was CART the cars looked great, the racing was great, and you had real champions driving the cars. Because the cars look like a bastard child of a half assed Le Mans car, I stopped watching……that prick George didn’t do anybody any favors screwing with a great series. Please F1 don’t go down that road or it will kill the series. As for Bianchi, personally I don’t believe the Halo would have protected his head as it would have been smashed by the thing he hit which was standing still and probably weighed a couple of tons. Just my opinion.


The 2018 indycars look pretty stunning in my opinion. They got rid of all the bulky body work and replaced it with a more classical looking aesthetic. Plus there will be no halos or things on indycar.


@ Luke C…yes, i wasa about to say the very same thing. The 2018 Indy cars look excellent and what’s more they employ a certain level of ground effect that allows for more real racing/passing. F1 could do worse that take a few hints from them….but of course that would be severely frowned upon.


Goodbye F1 Racing cars.

It was nice knowing you while it lasted.


I’ll say one thing ….. the halo has united F1 fans as few things have before! 😉 Of course it’s easy to sit home watching the telly or playing F1 video games and saying that the drivers should be men and accept the risk. If the people driving the cars were united in saying that the halo was a great idea, one would have to accept that, despite the esthetics of the thing. The fact that the drivers AREN’T in agreement on the halo suggests to me that this is not the best idea the sport has ever come up with ….. to put it mildly. I wonder if the halo is intended as a temporary measure, a waypoint towards fully enclosed cockpits?

One thing about it that I don’t recall seeing addressed ……… Bottas was slow getting out of the car, but engineers said that once he figured out where to put his hands his extraction time would be reduced. What happens if the car is “live” and not safe to be touched? In the past we’ve seen drivers hop out after being told to avoid touching the car. This is clearly going to be rather unlikely with the halo attached. Is there any info on safety in this scenario?

My bottom line is that the halo is ugly, but, aside from drivers like Hulk being penalized yet again because they aren’t tiny, won’t affect the actual racing much. Getting rid of the shark fins and tea trays might even make the cars sort of tolerable to look at even with the halo. But the one thing that I think COULD have a truly negative impact on next season is the decision to cut down the number of engines, or P.U.’s or whatever they call them now. We’ve already seen teams limit their running to save engine time. With one less unit for the season I suspect this is going to get a lot worse, including teams sitting out practise sessions and sacrificing certain races, all to conserve parts. Given that this isn’t actually going to save teams any money at all, it seems a particularly crazy decision even by F1 standards. 2021 can’t get here soon enough …….


@ Johnny canuck….i am amazed that these fins have been designated as ‘shark fins’? As someone who lives on the fringe of excessively shark infested waters i can assure you that i have never seen any real shark fin that even vaguely resembles an F1 car fin.


Could they not, as a worst case scenario, at least make the halo out of the same transparent plastic stuff they make these bulletproof plane windows from… at least try and hide the monstrosity.

Surely it’ll have a negative impact on the on board camera view as well.


“The last thing I’d want to come out of Henry’s death is over-regulation of the sport and a crusade against risk. Compared with my day, when drivers were regularly killed and we drove death traps, the safety record of the sport is now excellent and you probably have more people dying in mountaineering accidents than on racing tracks. You can’t stop young people reaching for the sky, trying to achieve their dreams. Yes, we need to look at how we can improve the fitting of wheel tethers, but closed cockpits are not on the cards; you can’t eliminate the danger entirely.” – The late racing legend, John Surtees, speaking about safety in racing after his own son, Henry, died from injuries suffered when a rogue wheel hit him on the head, straight on.


Respect. Why did the FIA not listen to Surtees?


@ Fan1…actually if you watch the replays of the accident frame by frame you will see that the tyre hit Surtees from the left hand side and wasn’t head on. The single support strut dead centre of the current, so called ‘halo’ ,is there for mounting purposes and structural integrity plus to eliminate any large pieces of body work etc from frontal penetration of the cockpit space. Small objects can still bypass that central strut, something that would’ve been largely eliminated if the screen had been implemented.


and that was because FIA doesn’t want any suit (legal) to its security; see
what happened it the case of…….It costs Mo with the lawyers plus ….
pity is an ugly choice (Ferrari could be better)


Hello Halo. Farewell Formula 1.

Or is it “I” as in “I can’t believe how ugly the 2018 cars will be. Imagine 20 cars on the grid with this monstrosity.”


The best solution was the screen. It needed some further strengthening but was the right concept. IMO it even enhanced the image from certain angles. I was most disappointed to see this abomination chosen when we were about to see the eradication of fins and coat hangers and get some decent looking cars for a change.


Well we got 1 year with the cars sort of alright. I guess that’s as much as we can expect these days. How sad..


With any luck one of them will break off while travelling at 200 mph and hit Jonny Todt on the back of the head and knock some sense into him.


The ugliest thing I have ever seen. Another FIA mistake.


I’ve never seen so many pictures of them at once… It’s quite nauseating, really.


So the Halo adds 15kg and the FIA allow only an extra 6kg to the minimum weight. What’s behind that, other than numerically dyslexic math? (Apologies to people with real dyslexia).


As i understand this year (2017) already 10Kg extra was permitted in advance of the Halo for this year.
Add 6 KG for next year and it fits..


I suppose it will never be popular until it’s proven to have saved someone’s life.


But we already have proof that it won’t… no driver has died* since the safety improvements introduced following Senna’s death.
*Jules death would not have been prevented by the Halo according to the FIA’s report.


Not yet. No driver had died since the person before. Doesn’t mean it won’t happen again.


@Micheal G

How do you know this won’t kill someone?


Well we don’t know. Hopefully we’ll never find out


This is a good point. I think we can all conceive of scenarios in which he halo could actually be detrimental. A piece of debris being deflected into the cockpit is one of those scenarios.


But if some debri was heading towards the drivers head it anyway chances are it would do some damage


Debris can either glance off the helmet, causing minimal damage or it can hit the halo in such a way as to bounce down and into the driver’s chest area. Not very likely, I know, but a wheel flying through the air is not very likely either.

Tornillo Amarillo

Better to have a halo now than a halo because of death…


“Better to have a halo now than a halo because of death…”
WOW…..Hang on there……By that analogy, better to not race at all then to save a lives. The idiocy of the halo is that it is an unproven device….one could bolt on many unproven devices and make 1001 changes based on speculation.


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Tornillo Amarillo

Anyone knows what John Surtees thinks about the halo?

Tornillo Amarillo

John Surtees’ son Henry died during a Formula Two race in 2009 after being struck on the head by a stray tyre.

“I suffered the tragedy of losing Henry which certainly could’ve been prevented by a development like this,” he said.

Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel had said the device can be as “ugly as possible” as long as it helps save lives. The German also thinks Henry Surtees would “still be around if we had this type of system”.

John Surtees, who won the 1964 drivers’ championship with Ferrari, said: “Lewis could perhaps think a little more about the ‘halo’ and think about the responsibility he does have as a world champion.

“Change comes about and sometimes changes are forced upon one. It may be that the governing body, just because of the momentum and the fact that they have gone this way, will have no option but to impose these regulations.

“Henry was hit by a wheel that weighed 28kg so there would have been a chance there [had a ‘halo’ been installed].”

McLaren’s Fernando Alonso, meanwhile, says the ‘halo’ device is a “necessary” step.

“It will be the future of F1, because we cannot afford any serious injury or fatal accident as we had in the last two years,” said the two-time world champion, referring to the fatal injuries sustained by Jules Bianchi and Justin Wilson.

Today I found this article from BBC sport dated March 2016, being Surtees, Vettel and Alonso in favor of the Halo and Hamilton against.


First time I’ve ever liked Hamilton.


Given Henry was not racing in F1 and thus would not be protected by the Halo, I always find such examples ridiculously naive to be honest.

Justin Wilson would have been no better off either and while we one day may see such in other series, I bet it will be long after it’s no longer in F1.

The bottom line is this appalling appendage should be no where near a racing car and if you have an issue with the heat then please, just get out of the kitchen!

The work done on cockpit sides, helmets and crash structures has been extensive and continuous and that should have sufficed. Putting 10 ton tractor units on a race track, in the wet no less, will always cause issues and no halo would cure that.

Either get them off the track or on the few tracks that must have them trackside, just fit them and them only with halos and tec cell skirts. Problem solved.

Better than killing the series in my view.


Well hello Doc…you’re back? Your comment re Justin Wilson…I was of the opinion that according to the reports that i have read, that the halo would deflected the loose bodywork that he was hit with. Do you have any links that show otherwise?

Tornillo Amarillo

Are Alonso, Vettel accepting halo ridiculously naive? Should they go out of the series?


Yes undoubtedly


The halo offers no protection to the driver’s head from directly above. I can’t see how it would have made any difference at all in the tragic accident you are referring to.


Actually, I retract my statement. I had Henry’s accident confused with another.


Auto racing is dangerous, as it should be. We admire drivers for their skill and bravery. When the element of danger has been so reduced that bravery is no longer a requirement, we are left with just skill. Racing then becomes mere a game of skill, like billiards. It still requires skill and is a challenge sure enough, but so is solving a Rubik’s cube. And when that happens to auto racing, to paraphrase Hemingway, all we have left then are mountain climbing and bull fighting, because auto racing is now just a game.


Nothing; he’s dead. And the Halo is not best way to prevent wheel assemblies from hitting drivers.


@ TA…by memory John Surtees passed away 9 months ago?


Why would he care about safety devices in F1 cars?

Does he wish that lower formulas had the same safety equipment as F1 cars – especially double wheel feathers? I’m sure he does.


Unfortunately the man passed away on 10th of March this year.


The saying ‘you cannot polish a turd’ comes to mind. Surely all this extra wasted money on aerodynamics around the halo (and aren’t halo’s round an angelic rather than this ‘flip flop’ shape) is madness. Plus will all the aerodynamic appendages add to the potential debris caused in accidents? Surely if they are a safety device then nothing can be attached to them?


@ colin B …sorry to frivolously burst your bubble but ‘turds’ can polished. In the archaeological/paleontological world fossilised ‘turds’ are known as ‘coprolites’ and by using certain abrasives these relics can be given a certain level of gloss. Another useless bit of info…….but interesting all the same hahaha


Oh come on Kenneth!

So can diamonds!

Which would you rather spend time polishing?

Which fits in very well with the halo analogy…


What an excellent point on the aerodynamic attachments!


this is the stupidest idea the FIA has ever come up with. I don’t know why they think this is necessary. this is open wheel racing. how do we know that if the halo was there then it would have prevented jule’s death? do we have a definite answer?
the things look so ugly. not only its so ugly, it’s penalizing heavy drivers, adding costs, next thing you know we’re gonna see ugly fairings on it just to make the whole thing worse. I wish F1 was really concerned about the fans. no one listens to the fans. I’ve been watching f1 since 1998, never missed a race. I am utterly disgusted by this halo introduction.


@ Dani….the definitive answer was given some time back and that was a resounding ‘no’. It would not have saved Bianchi’s demise. The forces endured in that accident would not have been reduced by a ‘halo’ . The life of young Surtees may have been saved with the halo though. What i have come to accept that this ‘halo’ business has been promoted to give a certain level of protection to the driver but also to prove legally that once a ‘weakness’ has been identified that the FIA have taken all reasonable steps to reduce that. They would be seriously compromised if any future legal challenges were mounted in the event of another fatality. The FIA are trying to cover their exposure and at the same time they are riding on the emotional effect of driver safety.


Wouldn’t have saved Bianchi’s life…he hit the side of the tractor so hard, it lifted and moved sideways about 2 foot. First point of contact was his head to produce that result. It’s a miracle he was even alive in a coma for so long.

Wouldn’t have saved Sennas life.
Wouldn’t have saved the Melbourne marshalls life.

Maybe Ratzenberger’s would have been saved. Good enough for the snowflakes at FIA.

I’ll be watching MotoGP next year. F1 is a loss to me. 3 engines, halos, pay TV walls, hybrid PU’s. It’s not F1.

I’ll keep an eye on JAonF1 for results and major changes to these ridiculous rules. Until then, I’m done.


Ratzenberger’s life probably would have been saved by the HANS device and the raised cockpit sides. Senna’s probably too.


Even if it was found that the Halo would have saved Jules (but it wouldn’t have) the solution to prevent such injuries in the future are:
1. Halo… huge costs to implement, looks hideous, alienates fan, increases drivers risks in other crash scenarios, heavy, etc etc
2. Don’t allow heavy equipment trackside unless cars behind Safety Car – cost to implement $0, Development time 0, implications to other crashes 100%

So which one will the FIA choose? No.1 of course


Halo does not belong in F1…Let’s just pay the drivers £40Million a year to be wrapped up in cotton-wool, experience no risks, and be told from the engineers when to ‘lift & coast’ or when to save tyres or save fuel?

No amount of “F1 re-branding or new logos or “Digital Investment” will improve the F1 Product….Liberty Media are all ‘spin’ and no substance…


At least Liberty recognises the problems with the sport and want to fix them (whether they can or not is a different matter) whereas Bernie was just interested in sucking as much cash out of it possible.


Very bad idea to allow dev on the halo : it increases costs and potentially gives that device the power to decide a championship !!! Are you sure Bernie has left the building ? it sounds exactly what happened with him (In all fairness, I guess these rules are FIA not FOM ?)
if a team finds a clever way to bend the rule and win the 2 first races before the loophole is banned on halo…and the WDC is crowned for a few points…that would be as stupid as doublepoints in abu dhabi


1993- Car broken down on the track, its fine as its off the racing line.
2017- There is a pea sized piece of carbon fibre on track, RED FLAG, RED FLAG!!!

So its little wonder come 2018 that we’ll see these monstrosities on the cars. Im surprised its taken this long. Got to keep the bleeding hearts out there happy alongside those drivers masquerading as men afterall dont we. What a laughing stock this once great sport has become.


So, as long as it’s not your heart that’s bleeding, it’s all fine is it?


Completely agree and with that my viewing career has concluded. There’s just no compelling reason to watch or spend a dime on consuming F1 anymore.


Bye bye, it’s been wonderful…


Sarsippious, I don’t remember anyvred flags for debris on the track this year, wasn’t Senna’s accident caused by a slowly deflating tyre caused by running through the debris from Barrichelo’s accident.


Senna’s death wasnt attributed to a deflating tire at all and clearly you’ve missed my point, likely on purpose, which doesn’t surprise me considering you troll every comment i post on here.


@ sars…how very true.


Sarsippious. There are many theories surrounding Senna’s accident, the puncture idea is believed by many, including Adrian Newey who understood that car better than anyone. The truth is nobody knows the cause, and we will never know for sure.
Maybe I did miss your point, what I didn’t miss was the incorrect assertion that red flags are shown for a “pea sized piece of carbon fibre on the track”.
I don’t troll you Sars. And nor do I reply to all of your comments.


Firstly, your still missing my point but alas I shall spare my breath trying to explain it to you for everyone else seems to get it clearly.
Secondly, Barrichello had his big accident on Friday in qualifying and as a result was ruled out for the weekend so you should probably get your own facts straight first.
Thirdly, Newey has never come out and definitively said what he believes did or did not cause Senna’s accident. He has however stated on record that there were some very bad engineering designs on that car that still haunts him.
I wont get into a wasted debate with you on Senna’s death as its obvious you have very little knowledge on the matter.
Google this is Tim, Tim this is google ✌


Sars. Your point appeared to be how much better F1 was in the good old days when men were men blah blah blah, like I said before maybe I missed it, but I seriously don’t care, I just noticed that the premise you based it upon was false. Pointing this out is allowed under the house rules and is called ‘discussion’ not ‘trolling’, in the same you are allowed to point out that I mistakenly thought that Rubens was involved in the start line accident that caused so much debris to be on the circuit, when in fact it was Lehto and Lamy. The difference between us is I am happy to own up to that error.
Here is a direct quote from an interview Adrian gave to the Guardian newspaper in 2011, “If you look at the camera shots, especially from Michael Schumacher’s following car, the car didn’t understeer off the track. It oversteered which is not consistent with a steering column failure. The rear of the car stepped out and all the data suggests that happened. Ayrton then corrected that by going to 50% throttle which would be consistent with trying to reduce the rear stepping out and then, half-a-second later, he went hard on the brakes. The question then is why did the rear step out? The car bottomed much harder on that second lap which again appears to be unusual because the tyre pressure should have come up by then – which leaves you expecting that the right rear tyre probably picked up a puncture from debris on the track. If I was pushed into picking out a single most likely cause that would be it.”
You can read the whole interview here if you are at all interested.


Newey has had a variety of different views over the years and for someone who knew that car better than anyone, as you highlight, that strikes me as odd.

Newey is one of the few people who can definitively say what the cause of Senna’s death was as he was able to access the black box data of Ayrton’s car after the it was returned to the Williams pits.
Despite claims by the team at the time that all bar two of the twenty data chips were damaged and destroyed and thus unusable there have been witnesses who say otherwise.

This unwillingness of Newey to commit to a definitive cause suggests to me that it was almost certainly a failure of the modifications he ordered to the steering column and as such something he can hardly come out and say, not then and not now.

Believe what you want though and clearly you do care.


Sarsippious. Newey talks about a puncture in the article you linked to! Of course he hasn’t definitively stated what caused the accident, because he doesn’t know, but as it says in the article I linked to, that if he was pushed into stating the most likely cause, it would be a puncture. I haven’t heard him come up up with any other theories, what are they? The stuff about data chips is interesting, but not really pertinent to the discussion we are having. I never said I didn’t care about thr causes of Senna’s death, because I do care about that, I just said I didn’t care what point you were originally trying to make, just that it was based on a false claim, that clearly you still don’t want to talk about.


Please you know full well the context my original comment was meant in and yet your still harping on about it because you take affront as you believe its a shot at Hamiltons manliness. Welcome to Tim and his third word problems. Go badger someone else with your petty moaning.


Haha you lost. Own it…


Sarsippious. I think you mean ‘first world problems’. Why do you want to talk about Lewis so much? You are becoming obsessed! I notice you don’t want to talk about punctures anymore, or the multiple theories Newey has apparently come up with over the years, and that’s fine we can go back to the original subject if you like. Yes I am well aware of the original context, you were wildly exaggerating the frequency and trivial nature of races being red flagged in 2017 in order to make a point about how much more manly F1 was in 1993. A strange choice of year for such a devout Senna fan to choose for comparison, I guess you picked it because it was one of very few F1 seasons not to feature a red flag at all, obviously you couldn’t pick 94 as there were three that year, and 95 would have been even worse with four stoppages! All of this neatly makes my point, which as ever you fail to pick up on, which is it seems that very often when I see posts like yours about the good old days, the examples given don’t match up with reality, and that everything looks good with a rosy tint.


Tim mate. Pull down yer pants and slide on the ice 😉


Treaded lurgy, I don’t know what that means, but I will try anything once!


Well maybe there’s a silver lining out of all this. Maybe sky will buy themselves out of their own contract after their first year when they’ve got 10 fans watching it.


Truly embarrassing and really very sad this is happening.

Tornillo Amarillo

FIA’s decision to raise the minimum weight limit by just 6kg – providing a disadvantage to the heavier drivers on the grid.

Yes, I worried about Ocon as he seems underweighted. How is that that the halo is aiming to protect the driver and as a colaterall it hurts the heavier ones permanently? FIA should rule driver weight and some ballast to protect the heavier drivers. It’s not only a matter of health, also the heavy drivers could face a ceiling in their careers for being tall, finding hard to find a top seat, maybe it is what ocurred to Hulk.
Hamilton already said that cars next year would be heavy like a bus… Add you cannot burn too much fuel, add you have to preserve the engine for one third of the season… It sounds crazy.


Hulk is a shell of his former self. Literally. He is so thin, he is unrecognizable from his Williams days. I can’t imagine this being safe or healthy, especially with the faster and heavier cars.


Its all well and good until an accident occurs that they haven’t accounted for yet and it jams someone from getting out of the car.


Or a spring from the car ahead falls off, hits one of the uprights of the halo and ricochets inside the cockpit directly onto the drivers head.


First a coat hanger on the back and now a teething ring at the front.


Just goes over my head this “Flip Flop” engine science. I’m going stuck with loafers 😉


The classic design of the camel. Good work FIA fools.


I had forgotten about the halo. I’ll be able to make up my mind once they start using it in winter testing. If it still looks as bad as the prototypes, I’m out.


@Matt W

If it’s ugly, it’s ugly. Most people can’t get past ugly. It’s called a “turn off” for a reason.

As in, “F1 is on. Look how hideous the cars are this year. Turn off the tele.”

But you’re right, I will make my decision in preseason testing. There have been ugly cars before but not a whole grid of them. Every car will have this.


If it looks good it usually is good. If it looks bad then it’s bad period.


@jdr…what looks good is subjective…..


If the Halo and the stepped nose were ever to be seen together then i would seriously consider abandoning the series as a must see. The halo is an insane contraption and only serves to highlight the direction that the FIA are taking us. Not good…..


So the device that was suppose to increase safety doubles the egress time, increases cost, differentiates the drivers by their weight, partially blocks driver’s view, and looks ugly. Interesting.


From a design point of view the so called halo is a fail. I really hope that this is only a temporary solution and that they’re already looking into something more F1 with view of introducing it in 2021.

After all, Ross Brawn did promise us really attractive cars from 2021.


I think it’s a solution to a problem that doesn’t exist now. Just enclose the cockpit like a jet fighter. That technology has been around for a very long time. An A10 will stop a 20mm round head on. Also you could see the driver better.

To me that one single thin piece right in front of the driver is the real badly designed and ugly part.


The A-10 sits the pilot in a 38mm thick titanium bath tub, that part will stop a 23mm cannon shell, the canopy and windscreen are only rated against small arms fire. The canopy also weighs almost 150kg, which is the problem for F1 cars, laminated armoured glass is heavy. I expect a refined combination of the aero screen and halo will be the eventual end point of the halo’s development. The halo is too ugly to stay as it currently looks but head protection is too important for the FIA to do nothing, so F1 gets to enjoy the growing pains. It’s still better than the 2014 ‘apendage’ nose cones.


@ jdr…The ugly bit i can agree on, the badly designed bit i can’t. Why? Well the ‘halo’ config would’ve been the result of the original brief. The design would therefore be secondary.


Bravo Nenade, točno tako.
Also, the cars at the Abu Dhabi test supposed to run in the exact same specification they’ve raced this year. I didn’t see HALO at all, during any of the races. 🙂


Interesting is one word – I could think of others 😉


Standard issue FIA idiocy. And people wonder why F1 is in a tail spin….


Be prepared for further nonsense now that Todt has been confirmed for another 4 years. Quelle horreur!!!!!!!


Plus the evidence shows that it would not have saved the life of one F1 driver in any accident over the last 22 years, including cars rolling, skidding upside down, barrel-rolling into a concrete barrier or landing on top of each other.
What exactly is it supposed to do that isn’t already being achieved with the current safety practices?
The big questions are: what is the agenda behind this, who is pushing this agenda and why?


No it probably wouldn’t have saved Senna Either. It might have saved JW and that’s a might.


Welcome to the modern era of F1. Artists used to design these cars, then aerodynamicists, and now lawyers.


This photo never fails to make a point.


Or this photo…


Sebee, you may have exposed the next environmentally correct PU propulsion system also!


Well, to be perfectly honest, we’re probably the least efficient things on this planet. And yet, here we are…in FI…with PUs…pretending we’re efficient.

Can we just call a spade a spade, stick a frikkin’ NA V10 into these things, shave 100kg+ immediately off dry weight, another 60kg off the starting weight through refuelling and go already?


Environmentally or politically correct – they mean the same thing. In our country PU also means pew or pee you or a bad smell. A stink. As in a stinking engine. The environmentally and politically correct to not like the internal combustion engine. A stink pot! So of course, the smart ones at the FIA fall right into this trap and call their own engine creation a stinking unit or a PU. You can’t make this stuff up!


I think you meant to say “politically correct PU propulsion system”.


Are you saying Ferrari’s are for children?


That’s brilliant.


That’s presumably Vettel’s special toys-already-loaded-in-the-pram model. Kimi’s has an ice cream cooler underneath.


So much has already been said about the ‘abominable halo’ it almost seems superfluous to continue until we actually get to see the final results. This whole episode leads me on to ask another question which hopefully James can comment on further. Seeing as this ‘halo’ business was borne out of the inquiry into the Bianchi death what i would like to know is, where is all that headed? It was reported in the media that Bianchi’s father/family were launching legal action against various entities that ‘they’ deemed to be answerable to for the accident and the tragic outcome. Where is all that today? To date i’ve seen no further references…so, my immediate question is this, has it all been dropped and if so why? James, can you help out?


@ luke C…yes, i was totally aware of the fact that, IMO, Bianchi ignored the double waved yellows. GPS traces show that he did not slow down to such an extent as ‘be prepared to stop’. That being so ,was ‘contributory negligence’ and lessened any chances of success that the Bianchi family would have in litigation. It was my understanding that the Bianchi litigation was not centered on this aspect as a basis for proceeding to court. I was led to believe that their case was built around the decision not to stop the race entirely as it was too dangerous to continue racing. Bianchi’s accident was therefore ‘after the fact’ or so it was alluded to. I was rather hoping that James would respond with some sort of explanation from his contacts but so far all is quiet.


Clearly it’s a very convoluted issue from a legal point of view and how a case centred around the failure to stop the race would go is anybody’s guess. As far as I know the Bianchi family are not going to pursue it at this stage, and if that changes we will inevitably find out about it.


@ Luke C….. From what little i know regarding the proposed ongoing litigation i recall that this was discussed in another forum some time back where it was suggested that Bianchi Snr. had a very good case insofar as the light conditions were below the accepted levels and that the race should’ve been red flagged. The fact that it wasn’t, was that the Promoters/FIA wanted to avoid declaring a result prior to the race going the full distance and that was a gamble in any ones estimation. You say that as far as you are aware the Bianchi’s are not proceeding. Could you possibly lead me to where you have read this as i haven’t seen anything at all.


I’ve read it in a number of places, none of which I would consider reliable. But it seems to have gone a bit quiet for now. Whether the intention to litigate has been dropped entirely, or whether it’s on the backburner I don’t know. It’s possible that the Bianchi family themselves haven’t completely made up their minds with regard to whether to pursue it or not. At the end of the day, having a case does not guarantee a favourable outcome and like I said, lawyers cannot reassurect anyone. All they can do is charge a s**tload of money.


The halo is entirely an exercise in ecaping legal culpability. Suzuka 2015 was complete negligence by the FIA.


And someone sitting behind 30 monitors decided not to deploy the safety car – was stupid basic lethal poor choice without personal consequences.


I’ve heard that the FIA can show that Bianchi did not slow down sufficiently under yellow flags. So given that he broke a rule put in place to prevent an accident such as his, there is very little chance that the Bianchi family would get an outcome in their favour. And ultimately legal action action of any sort will not bring Jules back from the dead.


The amount the drivers had to slow down was not specified by the rules. Now drivers must keep to specific sector times, a change made in the wake of Bianchi’s crash. I have always found the FIA argument that Bianchi did not slow down ‘enough’ when ‘enough’ is an un-defined un-measurable quantity to be extremely weasley. My suspicion is that the Bianchis were offered a settlement out of court in exchange for silence, instead of a potentially years long legal battle. Of course unless someone speaks up we will never know.


Will this generate different problems for example if a rear wing flys off and hits the halo will it convert all that carbon fibre into a mass of razor sharp knives?


That’s a real good question. Non structural CF might be a bad idea too.


What like front wings? T wings? vortex generators? endplates? etc etc etc!


We agree in principle Jon that the Halo causes more potential issues than it solves. My point is that a flying rear wing is an extremely unlikely event and other more likely events are a better argument against it’s introduction.


Massa getting hit by a suspension spring was an extremely unlikely event.
Bianchi getting creamed by striking the counterweight of a crane was also extremely unlikely event.
Neither of which would have been prevented by the halo.
F1 needs to make rational decisions but I doubt that’ll happen in the near future.


An errant spring or crashing into another vehicle are still more likely than a total rear wing failure – my point is not that the Halo is a solution, but specifically that it is NOT the solution because I can foresee it causing more issues than it solves.


When has a rear wing ever flown off in such a manner? Biggest concern is driver egress in the event of a fire or other critical incident. And it’s pig ugly.


Carbon shards go everywhere in a crash already, that isn’t a new problem. If a rear wing hits the halo hard enough to shatter the small carbon shards will bounce off a driver’s helmet, an entire wing assembly would kill the driver (as a front wing killed Justin Wilson).


Jnh..I don’t know if you are experienced in engineering risk assessment a d I appologise if i am teaching you to suck eggs. . But the halo is effectively a last line of defence against hazards that should ( if possible ) be controlled before they occure. When you introduce such a control you must ensure it does not of itself introduce additional risks. Now I do not think the FIA have tested against a large rear wing hitting the device..will it deflect or will a mass of sharp edged carbon fibre get through and with what result. If you have an answer , if you can assure us that all the shards will hit the helmet rather than the throat area then great. My point is that this device is a blunt tool to prevent one hazard..a tyre hitting at a front on angle, and has not been tested against anything else. let’s hope that I am never proved correct


So is it your contention that it would be preferable for the whole wing to hit the driver in the head?

If you’re aware of what exactly the whole testing process was I’d appreciate a link to it. Somehow I doubt that all they did was test it against a single threat from a single angle. IIRC there were a couple of videos during the summer with the FIA engineers who worked on the Halo. One was an announcement type with a PowerPoint presentation where the number angles that were analyzed was specified (somewhere in the 450 range I think), the other they put someone in a mockup chassis with a Halo and flipped it over to see if they could get out and they did.


RodgerT. To my knowledge ( james please put us right) the halo was subjected to a computer simulation of various accidents that only left the object in tact. Hence large objects bounced off rather than disintergrate. The only physichal test the FIA conducted on the halo and other suggested ideas was the wheel being fired head on.

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