Formula One organizers have been pushing for some sort of driver head protection device for a few years now, and yesterday, it was finally announced that the Mercedes-designed "Halo" will be required for the 2018 season. Apparently, F1 teams aren't too happy about it. that nine out of the 10 teams competing in F1 voted against the halo at a Strategy Group meeting yesterday.
Despite the opposition, the FIA mandated the halo on safety grounds. Initially, the FIA planned to introduce halo cockpits this year, but postponed their introduction to research other solutions, namely Red Bull's Aeroscreen windshield.
Before last weekend's British Grand Prix at Silverstone, Ferrari driver Sebastien Vettel tested an Aeroscreen-like device, and said it made him dizzy after one lap. The Aeroscreen concept isn't totally dead, though, with more research and testing apparently planned.
Autosport reports that FIA representatives told F1 teams that they would work on improving the halo's design for next year. Every team has tested the halo at least once, with the initial design penned by Mercedes and most of the development work handled by Ferrari. that one of those teams was likely the sole vote in favor of the current design, due to their close involvement.
Previously, various F1 partiesexpressed concerns over the halo's questionable looks, its protection, and how it might make driver extrication more difficult. Lewis Hamilton was an outspoken critic early on, though he eventually came around to the halo last year.
The FIA is under a lot of pressure to implement some form of cockpit protection, hence the move to incorporate the halo in spite of opposition. With more development planned for a solution based on Red Bull’s aeroscreen, the halo could very well be temporary.