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Formula 1 'halo' safety system to be implemented in 2018

Published: 24 July 2017

► F1 halo safety system
► FIA makes it compulsory
► We'll see it first in 2018 season

The world governing body for motorsport, the FIA, has confirmed that it will introduce the long-mooted ‘halo’ safety system into Formula 1 in the 2018 season.

The controversial safety apparatus has been in testing since 2016, with multiple teams chipping in to test different designs, versions and options to help reduce the risk of drivers being injured by flying debris and side-impact collisions.

Both Ferrari and Red Bull had tested what was nicknamed the ‘Aeroscreen’ by RB and a 'shield' by Ferrari, where a swooping windshield was attached to the cockpit. Sebastian Vettel was among the testers of the screen, but reportedly complained of dizziness during the trial at the 2017 British Grand Prix. According to BBC Sport, Vettel said: ‘I got a bit dizzy. We had a run planned with it, but I didn’t like it so I took it off.’

Red Bull Aeroscreen

What was eventually decided on was a ‘halo’ – an aerodynamic, wishbone-like strut brace that swoops over the drivers’ head and has a thin fixed mount at the front. FIA says test results proved that the halo system could ‘withstand 15 times the static load of the full mass of the car and was able to significantly reduce the potential for injuries.’

FIA also claims the centre strut that holds the halo up made ‘no significant visual obstruction’ and that it didn’t affect drivers being able to get out of the car in an emergency.

Ferrari F1 halo front quarter

The motorsport body states that the halo system was initially meant to be implemented in the 2017 season, but ‘the F1 Strategy Group agreed to defer introduction of a cockpit protection system in order to provide more time to conduct track testing.’

We’ll see the halo system come into full effect in the 2018 F1 season. What do you think? A necessary change or an overcautious overreaction? How would you improve safety in the sport? Drop us a comment...

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By Jake Groves

CAR's staff writer, office Geordie, gamer, lover of hot hatches

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