Formula One drivers vote against halo cockpit protection device

Will the Formula One head protection system dubbed the Halo ever be approved? The FIA had already shelved the device despite originally wanting to introduce it this year, and now a poll with drivers is casting further doubt on the future of the safety feature.

FIA contacted 22 F1 drivers on January 10, asking for their views the Halo. Out of the 16 drivers answering to the poll by February, seven voted against the Halo, five favored it and four produced a neutral vote. This means the Halo might not arrive for 2018, either.

It's clear the Formula One car as it stands could use more head protection, but a working, widely favored solution has not yet been invented. As Auto Motor und Sport reports, a cockpit shield could be one, but not the Aeroscreen that Red Bull has paraded. According to AMS, the Aeroscreen has been seen by other teams as possibly giving Red Bull an unfair advantage, and it has not fared well in tests. Red Bull suspended the screen's development in June.

Rain tests have been problematic, and a laboratory run with the Aeroscreen caused severe damage to a dummy's head as a wheel was fired toward it – a situation for which the Halo has been tailored. And as the handlebar-style Halo is a relatively simple structure, it wouldn't cause rain visibility problems. However, the center support directly ahead of the driver could require time for adoption. AMS says a smaller screen, as is currently being developed for the IndyCar series, could also be a solution.

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