If you were having a great day we might be about to spoil it. So we present our apologies in advance. But a little less than three months before the cars of 2017 are presented, there is a small -I would say an optimist, let’s be optimistic- appendix of the car that we have not talked about for a long time: the halo.
Those two sticks of circular shape that should cover the head of the pilots who turn the beautiful Formula 1 cars into a mere flip flop of millions of euros . Whether we want it or not, all the cars on the grid will ride it and we want it or we will not have to get used to it. In addition, it goes for long, because it seems that its permanence could be assured from 2020.
The protection system chosen by the International Automobile Federation (FIA) to protect the heads of pilots seems to have more support within institutions than outside them and not precisely because of its aesthetics.
Pilots, months after their use is mandatory, remain unclear that their implementation will not hinder the visibility of the track. Not everyone has tried it, so free pre-season training will be crucial if we do not want to regret major problems.
Those who will also have to train hard are the track stewards of all the circuits. This last detail is very important because according to the number of competitions that each one of the tracings receives, the dexterity of its officers and the time of reaction varies remarkably.
In an attempt to convince public opinion, last year the press was invited to a mock evacuation of a pilot in a car with the halo mounted. Far from calming the situation, all those present agreed that in a real situation of danger, the injured could have suffered great consequences.
You have to pass the fire test
The 2018 season of Formula 1 will be the test of fire that the halo will have to overcome. If – God forbid – something goes wrong and creates a dangerous situation, the Federation may have to rethink its use in the middle of the season.
The decision to incorporate it came later than expected, so some teams had to rethink the complete design of their new cars so I’m sure they would not like to have to backtrack after the headaches that have given them.
For the moment we will have to wait to see first how the Formula 1 looks with the halo, how they work and if really placing something so unattractive in cars, really serves something.