Macau crash used in F1 Halo presentation


Leading Formula 1 drivers have given their backing for the FIA to continue work on the Halo, after video footage of a lucky escape at last weekend's Macau Grand Prix was shown to them at a meeting in Abu Dhabi.

During Friday night's drivers' briefing at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, F1 drivers were given a presentation by the FIA about the latest progress on the Halo – which has now been tested by all current drivers.

As part of the presentation, video footage of a spectacular opening lap crash at last weekend's Macau Grand Prix was played.

The incident came on the first lap of the Macau qualification race when Daiki Sasaki braked to avoid cars ahead that had slowed down following two rivals hitting the wall at Mandarin Bend.

Behind him, Hong Li Ye was caught out by the situation and hit the back of Sasaki's car – launching himself right over the top of his teammate's rear wing.

As Ye's car descended, it twisted around and the right rear wheel came down on Sasaki's cockpit and helmet, leaving visible tyre marks.

The FIA believes the incident highlights why there are obvious benefits from improved head protection in open cockpits, which is why it was used to show F1 drivers on Friday.

See the Macau crash in question in the video below at 0:55:

No vote

Although it is understood no formal vote was taken by the FIA from drivers regarding whether or not they were in favour of the Halo coming to F1, the discussions and feedback from the meeting – allied to forms each driver filled out after testing the cockpit protection – have left the governing body encouraged about pursuing the concept.

One source suggested that around 80 percent of the drivers were in support of the Halo coming into F1 eventually, with some even broaching the idea of it being fast-tracked through for as early as next year.

However, the FIA is set to take more time to better evaluate the idea and continue to work on refining the concept ahead of its planned introduction in 2018.

Toro Rosso's Daniil Kvyat confirmed that there was no unanimous support for the Halo yet, but discussions were more positive about it.

"Some drivers are neutral, some are pro, some are against," said the Russian. "There are 22 drivers, 22 different personalities. I'm sure we'll come to a conclusion at some point.

"It's not very consistent. Sometimes, most of the drivers are for it, then sometimes someone is more neutral. I haven't been following the trend too much. It's not my favourite topic of briefings."

Kvyat said he hoped, eventually, that the matter would go for a vote.

"It's a change in the eyes of the fans," he said. "It's part of the sport, it's always been discussions. We have to accept it and see what the decision is. If they want to know the driver's opinion, they shouldn't just be asking words, they should just get to vote."

Nico Hulkenberg, who has been sceptical of the need for the Halo, was one of those who remained unconvinced.

"I think, personally, I'm against the Halo anyway," he said. "I'm of the opinion that we don't necessarily need something like that. So we'll see what happens. It's not in my hands anyway."

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Nico Hulkenberg , Daniil Kvyat
Article type Breaking news
Tags fia, halo