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FIA says aero fairings will make Halo more attractive

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FIA says aero fairings will make Halo more attractive
By:
Jul 27, 2017, 2:22 PM

FIA race director Charlie Whiting says the addition of aerodynamic fairings allowed by the rules will mean that the Halo device will look a lot more attractive next season.

Daniil Kvyat, Scuderia Toro Rosso STR11 with a Halo cockpit cover
Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF16-H with the Halo cockpit cover
Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari SF16-H with a Halo cockpit cover
Kevin Magnussen, Renault Sport F1 Team RS16 with the Halo cockpit cover
Jolyon Palmer, Renault Sport F1 Team RS16 with a Halo cockpit cover
Marcus Ericsson, Sauber C35 with a Halo cockpit cover
Felipe Massa, Williams FW38 with the Halo cockpit cover
Kevin Magnussen, Renault Sport F1 Team RS16 with the Halo cockpit cover
Renault F1 Team, Halo
Charlie Whiting, FIA Delegate
Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF70H, cockpit shield
Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF70H, cockpit shield

Speaking in a press conference to discuss Halo in Hungary, Whiting noted that the prototypes tested on track last season were "raw".

The FIA announced earlier this month that the Halo will be introduced in F1 next season, having ruled out the Shield system tested at Silverstone.

Teams will be allowed to fit fairings to the Halo, which will be a standard part, in order to help overcome any aerodynamic issues that it presents.

"All the Halos that we've seen bar one, as I recall anyway, have been just raw," said Whiting. "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 believes that fans will quickly get used to the look of the device.

"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," said Whiting.

"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 pushback 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."

Whiting also suggested that teams could use that space for sponsor logos.

Shield not ruled out

The FIA has also clarified that the Shield has been put to one side not because of the negative feedback from Sebastian Vettel when he tried it at Silverstone, but because it has not yet passed the required tests.

Unlike the Halo, it has not yet successfully dealt with a 20kg wheel assembly fired at 225km/h.

"Sebastian was disturbed by a slight optical distortion that he had in the straight ahead position," said FIA safety director Laurent Mekies. "We have good ideas on why this is happening. We don't think technically that it's impossible to solve at all.

"The underlying factor that the Shield was designed to offer a lower level of protection compared to Halo so it would typically not pass the wheel tests. And we would also know with this type of device there were other complications linked to visibility, dirt, rain, et cetera.

"We felt that we had to explore it, and again perhaps one day we get to enough strength to reach the target.

"The main reasons to discard it was not so much that single feedback [from Vettel], because after a first on-track test you would expect issues, and you would have work to be done, and we have done the same with the other devices.

"But more so onto the fact that the level of protection was not as high as we wanted."

Mekies confirmed that the FIA hadn't ruled out replacing the Halo with a better solution, if it passes all the tests.

"One of the reasons that we spent energy and time on the Shield directions was to find a more integrated solution.

"As I said, we felt that for now the downsides are a bit too big compared to the benefits of the Halo, but it's possible that in the future we'll break some milestones and decide that another solution will give better protection and hopefully better aesthetics."

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About this article

Series Formula 1
Author Adam Cooper