Halo It's Here
Autosport|January 18,2018

Like it or loathe it, the halo safety structure is a fixture for Formula 1 in 2018. Here’s how it’s set to affect the cars.

Adam Cooper

THE FIA’S HALO SAFETY STRUCTURE WILL DOMINATE the appearance of Formula 1 cars in 2018. The teams began receiving the first definitive examples of the halo – the “ugliest thing ever installed on a Formula 1 car”, according to Mercedes boss Toto Wolff – before Christmas, giving them the first proper chance to assess the device’s impact on their new designs.

The 2018 rulebook is largely stable as far as the chassis is concerned, although sharkfins and T-wings are eliminated, which means the halo should have the biggest single impact on the cars this year, beyond ongoing aerodynamic development. Every halo run on track up to now has been a prototype, representing only the shape of the design, which gave the teams some feedback on the aerodynamic impact and an opportunity to assess the effect on visibility and cockpit access.

Three manufacturers from the UK, Germany and Italy have been granted the right to produce halos by the FIA. Teams pick their halo supplies from those sources, and choose how many they want – with prices starting from around €15,000.

What the teams could only estimate until now was the structural impact on their cars. Everyone has had to design their 2018 chassis to meet the requirements of the FIA’s stringent new halo static-load tests, designed to replicate the impact of a wheel assembly. The teams have had to bolster the structure around the cockpit, as well as fit the halo mountings.

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