Top drivers including Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso have welcomed the decision to implement the Halo on Formula 1 cars from 2018 and beyond, while F1 race director Charlie Whiting has assured media and fans that the controversial cockpit safety concept will be more attractive when teams personalise the device for their cars.
The biggest complaint about the halo is how ugly it is, but Whiting said during a media briefing in Hungary, “All the Halos that we’ve seen bar one, as I recall anyway, have been just raw. I think we should just wait and see what the teams come up with, because for sure they will all exploit the extra freedom that they have got, even if it is just for aero reasons.
“I’m sure that they will look more pleasing to the eyes. They have to use the standard Halo, that will be from a single supplier. We will allow them to use non-structural fairings around the upper part, which can be no more than 20mm from the main structure.
“I think there’s an overall width restriction, and I think there’s a restriction on how far they can encroach on the cockpit opening. But 20mm is quite lot all the way around, and they can do what they like with that.
“The main reason for doing it in the first place was to give them the scope to overcome any aero changes they’ve got – for example airbox, and things like that. They wanted to be able to redirect the flow.”
Whiting is convinced that the Halo will be improved aesthetically, “I think you’ll find that teams haven’t explored the full range of possibility to make them look a little more pleasing to the eye.”
“At the moment we’ve only seen bare designs. Even when Williams ran with a white one, the same colour as the car, it looked a lot better, I think you’ll agree.”
“I personally think fans will get used to it. I know there’s a little bit of push-back at the moment. I think they will come up with some pretty different designs, so I don’t think it will be quite as bad as you think,” added Whiting.
Big Question: Do you think team designers can make the halo look good on an F1 car?