Ricciardo: Halo did not block view of starting lights

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Ricciardo: Halo did not block view of starting lights
Jonathan Noble
By: Jonathan Noble
Feb 26, 2018, 7:29 PM

Daniel Ricciardo has played down fears that Formula 1 drivers could struggle to see the starting lights because of the halo.

Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing RB14
Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing RB14
Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing RB14
Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing RB14
Fernando Alonso, McLaren MCL33
Fernando Alonso, McLaren MCL33
Carlos Sainz Jr., Renault Sport F1 Team RS18
Carlos Sainz Jr., Renault Sport F1 Team RS18
Carlos Sainz Jr., Renault Sport F1 Team RS18
 Carlos Sainz Jr., Renault Sport F1 Team RS18

The mandatory use of the head protection system in F1 this year has caused an outcry from fans who are unhappy with the way it looks – although drivers who have tried it say it does not make much difference once they are driving.

However, one potential issue that has been cropped up in recent days is whether or not a driver's vision of the start lights could get restricted because of the overhang of the top part of the halo.

That was why several drivers tried out practice starts during Barcelona testing on Monday, with Ricciardo confirming that there was no issue at all for him.

“It might sound silly, but I don’t notice it,” he said about the halo. “Getting in the car and getting out obviously you do [notice it], but on track it seemed fine.

“I followed a couple of cars today and it seemed alright. We did the starts, we thought to see the start lights could be difficult, but so far it seems fine. I know it’s not that pretty but other than that it’s fine.”

Fernando Alonso agreed with the suggestion that the halo looked much more intrusive outside the car than it did from inside the cockpit.

“When I see the pictures I see the halo in the middle of the vision, but when driving for whatever reason you are focused on the long distance, you are not that focused on the middle part of the chassis," said the McLaren driver. 

"In the corners obviously you are watching left and right of the centre pylon so it's absolutely no problem.”

Rain issue

One of the more intriguing consequences of the halo that came up on the first day of testing was the way it diverted rain drops away from drivers’ helmets – so they could no longer tell when weather conditions had changed.

Carlos Sainz reckoned that could provide some interesting situations at grands prix, with drivers having to be much more sensitive as to when the track was getting slippery if rain was coming.

“Today when it started to rain a bit, but you could not see it on the visor,” he explained. “The halo was not allowing the raindrops to go on the visor.

"So you were not really seeing if it was raining or not. You were just feeling it with your hands and your arse.

“[It’s] this kind of rain that sometimes really bothers us drivers, because you don’t know if you can actually push 100 percent or not, you just have to guess it with the pitwall and see how much rain there was.

"From us, our visor was completely dry and outside it was raining. A bit tricky there.”

Additional reporting by Adam Cooper, Jamie Klein and Lawrence Barretto

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