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Featured F1: Frontal Head Protection Deferred to 2018

Discussion in 'Formula 1' started by Paul Jeffrey, Jul 28, 2016.

Does F1 need head protection?

Poll closed Aug 28, 2016.
  1. Yes

  2. No

  1. Paul Jeffrey

    Paul Jeffrey
    Sim Racing News Editor Staff Premium Member

    F1 Halo.jpg
    The FIA have released a statement following the meeting of the F1 Strategy Group whom unanimously agreed to defer introduction of cockpit head protection until the beginning of the 2018 Formula One season.

    It was decided that owing to the relatively short timeframe until the commencement of the 2017 Formula One season it would be prudent to use the remainder of this year and early next year to further evaluate the full potential of all options before final confirmation,”

    This will include undertaking multiple on-track tests of the ‘Halo’ system in practice sessions during the rest of this season and during the first part of the 2017 season.

    “While the Halo is currently the preferred option, as it provides the broadest solution to date, the consensus among the Strategy Group was that another year of development could result in an even more complete solution."

    Halo remains a strong option for introduction in 2018.”
    Whilst the FIA did acknowledge that the 'Halo' concept is "currently the preferred option" the F1 Strategy Group have elected to delay introduction of a head protect solution for a further year to allow due consideration and testing of possible options available to Formula One teams post 2017. Opinion is divided amongst the current crop of Grand Prix drivers on the topic of head protect, with many fans voicing concerns over the aesthetic properties of solutions track tested so far. Ferrari have famously used an early 'Halo' concept and RedBull have also introduced a protective screen similar to those seen in military fighter aircraft (below):
    RedBull Caniopy.jpg

    It is understood the decision to defer cockpit head protection has met with unanimous approval from team bosses at the Geneva meeting, however many drivers on the grid have voiced support for the idea over recent weeks, with notable names such as Sebastian Vettel, Nico Rosberg and Daniel Ricciardo giving their support of a head protection system during the German Grand Prix build up on Thursday.

    The FIA have confirmed development will continue to take place with "multiple track tests'" during practice sessions for the remainder of 2016 and into the 2017 season.

    More news and reaction to follow...

    Keep up to date with the latest Formula One discussions and news at the RaceDepartment Formula One sub forum. Post your comments, ask a question and interact with you fellow community members right now.

    Do you agree with the decision to delay cockpit protection to 2018? Do you like the Halo concept? Share your opinions below!
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2016
    • Like Like x 3
  2. Yes, but not the halo is my take.

    The right thing would be a full canopy, half measures are stupid.
    • Agree Agree x 8
    • Like Like x 1
  3. Paul Jeffrey

    Paul Jeffrey
    Sim Racing News Editor Staff Premium Member

    I am torn on this one. Its a hard call.

    I am totally against the idea of closed cockpit cars, F1 is and always should be an open wheel series. Seeing a driver out in the open is part of the very essence of the Formula One business. However due to such advances in safety the head is by far and away the most exposed and therefore vulnerable part of the driver nowadays. So is it irresponsible to allow no further consideration to doing something to address this issue? Or are we over sanitising the sport and trying to make safe a sport that is, by its very nature, fundamentally dangerous?

    Man its a hard call! Actually its that hard, I've not voted..... ;)

    One thing I know for sure, I do not like the look of those halo devices!
    • Agree Agree x 3
  4. Agreed. If they started doing this already on Lemans prototype cars, why not F1?

    Get rid of that single pitstop economy bs. This is a race, not a strategy game.
  5. Paul Jeffrey

    Paul Jeffrey
    Sim Racing News Editor Staff Premium Member

    Because Le Mans prototype cars are not "open wheel single seat racing cars"... :D

    Joking aside, it will be interesting to see what the general opinion is on this one. Looking forward to reading the comments when I get to work tomorrow. Should be an entertaining way to wash down my Greggs coffee and bacon & sausage sandwich :D
    • Like Like x 1
  6. Paul Jeffrey

    Paul Jeffrey
    Sim Racing News Editor Staff Premium Member

    EDIT: I wont be washing down my breakfast with this article !!! I mean reading the comments while I eat... :D Just before someone picks up on the comment and takes the P ;)
    • Haha Haha x 2
  7. Matt

    Premium Member

    Halo devices are simple fear mongering. By continually making you think about getting hit in the head you become fearful it might happen and then feel the need to act to prevent it. It's no different from any insurance salesperson trying to convince you to purchase said insurance.

    This is however only my opinion :)
    • Agree Agree x 3
  8. Andy Jackson

    Andy Jackson
    Sponsored by BRUT Premium Member

    I'm not torn on this one at all. F1 should not be made any safer in my opinion. Its safe enough compared to 20 years ago and some risk should be always present. If they don't want to risk it, then don't do it. Do athletics instead.
    Real road racing (TT, North West 200, Ulster GP etc) is extremely dangerous, probably the most dangerous in the world. But what if the do-gooder safety nobs get their hands on that? A sport ruined.
    We must stop sanitising motor sports. We have done enough. Leave it alone. Risk is all part of of it.
    F1 cars need open cockpits or they are no longer F1 cars in my opinion.

    I do Motorcycle track days at various UK circuits. I have had a few off's and ended up in various hospitals. Can you imagine my horror if some do-gooder, health and safety goon came and said no more track days because it's too dangerous?:mad: Live your life and risk it when you can. That is life.
    If these over paid prima donna's don't want to risk it, there will be plenty of other young guys willing to step into their shoe's.
    And before any one gets on my case let me tell you something, I have served in the military for 23 years and done 2 gulf wars and a Bosnia tour. I have ridden fast race mororcycles for 20 years too. I have risked my life doing silly adventure sports from cliff diving to motocross. Can I ask what life would be like if we stopped all that?

    ps, I'm suffering now with arthritus in many joints but guess what, it was worth it.........:)
    • Agree Agree x 10
    • Like Like x 5
    • Wow Wow x 1
  9. samcar304

    Sam Carmichael Staff

    I voted yes after 10 minutes of thinking, but I don't want to watch a driver sustain life threatening injuries Like Wilson or Bianchi Live ever again...

    There is more to be considered I think but the Halo is not the way to go... The Halo would never had of stopped that spring that hit massa back in 09. I was looking forward to the Aeroscreen (because I thought it looked really cool) but even that had its flaws.

    I believe there is no sense in rushing until you have a fault proof design.
    • Agree Agree x 3
  10. Matheus Machado

    Matheus Machado
    #17 Talking Door Racing Staff Premium Member

    I'm always up for a safety improvement, so in my opinion something must be done in regards of head protection in F1. If it is going to be a closed cockpit or the Halo, I really don't mind.
    Both solutions could work really well, or go really bad. See Marc Gene's crash in Le Mans where the canopy just got ripped off the car during the crash, resulting in a regulation change to make the cockpits safer.
    Good call by F1 to properly test a solution. Reducing the risks of the sport is the way to go and its benefits will eventually reach out to safer road cars.
  11. Andy Jackson

    Andy Jackson
    Sponsored by BRUT Premium Member

    Why don't we just race tanks? Pretty safe then eh?
    • Haha Haha x 2
    • Wow Wow x 1
  12. I wanted to point out the difference between open cockpit and open wheel, the two are not exclusive and formula 1 could be closed cockpit open wheel. If the drivers want head protection and it would give them more confidence on the road then you should consider more of what they want. It's not some "lame-butts" coming in to try and make the sport safer, it's the drivers that want it the most. Drivers have always wanted more safety in motorsport, and it's their right to demand for more of it if the danger makes them uncomfortable about competing.

    If you think back to the times of Jackie Stewart, there came a point where all of his best friends had died from racing incidents and that he had no friends left in f1. Apparently you had a 1/3 chance of surviving over the course of a 5 year racing career or something like that. You guys are saying that death is just "part of the deal" but to the drivers death is horrific and terrifying, it is every time a racer dies and the drivers and teams shouldn't have to deal with how hard that is on everyone just because people think danger is "entertaining."
    • Agree Agree x 3
  13. samcar304

    Sam Carmichael Staff

    I just meant that im sure other designs could be come up with that solve this problem but rushing into an undeveloped one is bit pointless when you could put all your resources into creating a better one, just my two cents :)
  14. Thomas Cameron

    Thomas Cameron
    Don't give me your patter Premium Member

    Closed cockpit is the only "safe"way forward for f1,but stalling a decision is only potentially endangering lives.
    F1 has loads of issues besides this that's affecting its audience and buyers,the one thing they need to be sure of in this day of safety at all times is there drivers have maximum protection at all times.

    The cars are almost like jet fighters anyway with the computer control,I'm sure the closed cockpit won't detract its viewers much more than after the near silent engines and fabricated exhaust note.
  15. Andy Jackson

    Andy Jackson
    Sponsored by BRUT Premium Member

    No body has stated that death is part of the deal. Stop being dramatic. But put your argument in to motorcycle race sport like real road racing. What would you do to make that safer?
    Bianchi's death was caused by a crane in the wrong part of the circuit. Lets just make sure that they remove threats like that.
    • Agree Agree x 3
  16. burrito

    It's an opinion, nothing more, nothing less. Premium Member

    Agree with @Andy Jackson Jules wouldn't have died had the race been put under Safety Car earlier, a massive tractor was inside the circuit perimeter (in an area that was very easy to spin off), that should be an instant call to put out the Safety Car, especially in those conditions.

    And regarding this HALO idea of stopping loose tyres. Aside from failed pitstops I can't think of many times a wheel came loose from an F1 car in the last decade. A Williams at Suzuka comes to mind (not sure what year) but F1 has multiple, amazingly strong wheel tethers that prevent that kind of event happening. The series that have had accidents from wheels impacting drivers did not have this kind of tether system and if they did, not to the same level as F1. I am all for safety but F1 is solving someone else's problem with this and that is just ridiculous.

    If the drivers need protection from wayward tyres on the race track then every person in the pitlane should have to wear a personal roll cage too. In case of flying tyres in the pitlane from failed pitstops (which I might add has been a lot more common than on track failures in F1 in the last decade).
    • Like Like x 1
  17. samcar304

    Sam Carmichael Staff

    I agree with the tyre debacle, it is very rare that you see a tyre loose on track due to the strength of the wheel tethers nowadays. But I believe even the small unpredictable parts that could go through the gaps in the Halo still pose an issue but it's a very tricky area to have a debate in. Because it doesn't really Affect us only the drivers can decide what makes them feel safer. I think the drivers should get more say in the rules of Formula 1 as it is them who know what changes will affect the sport and how.
    • Agree Agree x 2
  18. Rob

    XBO: OctoberDusk06 Premium Member

    F1: The final destruction of the sport delayed until 2018.

    Thank God.
    • Agree Agree x 2
  19. Yeah yeah open cockpit is too dangerous, cute. I'll just leave this here
    • Like Like x 4
    • Agree Agree x 1
  20. I feel like a lot of people dont understand the question at the top. F1 does need head protection, end of story. But the Halo isnt the answer. I feel like a really hard piece of glass on the front could be an option, but it would need to be developed.