Halo set for 2018 introduction after Strategy Group meeting

Formula 1 is set to introduce the Halo cockpit protection device for 2018 after the FIA pushed it through on safety grounds at Wednesday’s Strategy Group meeting.

Halo set for 2018 introduction after Strategy Group meeting
Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF16-H with the Halo cockpit cover
Felipe Massa, Williams FW38 with the Halo cockpit cover
Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF70H, cockpit shield
Renault Sport F1 Team RS16 with a Halo cockpit cover
Kevin Magnussen, Renault Sport F1 Team RS16 with the Halo cockpit cover
Pierre Gasly, Red Bull Racing RB12 Test Driver running the Halo cockpit cover
Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF70H, cockpit shield
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 W08, Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari SF70H, Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB13, Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF70H

The Halo and Shield have emerged as the two options for cockpit protection, with the FIA insistent some form of device will be introduced next season.

While the Halo has undergone extensive testing, with all the teams running the device at least once, Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel tested the Shield for the first time in British Grand Prix practice last Friday.

The German however cut short his run as he felt "dizzy" using it, while Haas driver Romain Grosjean commented he felt it was "as bad as" the Halo he tried in 2016.

When the matter was discussed at the meeting in Geneva, it is believed the Shield was put on the backburner for now as it was felt significant further investigation was required.

Sources say nine out of 10 teams voted against the Halo, but the FIA said it would become part of the regulations for 2018 on safety grounds, albeit with "certain features of its design" being "further enhanced".

It still requires final ratification by the World Motor Sport Council but this can be completed by e-vote if necessary.

Only six of the 10 teams on the grid - Mercedes, Ferrari, Red Bull, Williams, McLaren and Force India - have previously been part of the meetings along with the commercial rights holder and the FIA.

But at the last meeting, F1 sporting boss Ross Brawn presented the concept of inviting teams not officially part of the group to attend as observers - and this is believed to have been the case on Wednesday.

Those not officially part of the group did not take part in the discussion, but were occasionally asked for their viewpoints on various subjects. 

Cost control working group

The Strategy Group also discussed the issue of cost control, and will set up a working group - comprising representatives from the Formula One Group, the FIA and teams - to work on implementing measures “aimed at ensuring the sport remains sustainable in the coming years".

Discussion also centred around ways to improve the overall show, with several ideas put forward for investigation before the next meeting.

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Series Formula 1
Author Lawrence Barretto
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