The majority of Formula 1 drivers have voted against the proposed implementation of the halo cockpit protection device for the 2018 racing season.
In January the FIA sent a letter to 22 Formula 1 drivers asking for their opinion on the halo, which was demo’d by several F1 drivers in practice and test sessions throughout 2016. Of the 16 drivers that responded to the letter, seven voted against it, five favored it and four were neutral on the matter.
Driver’s were also mixed in their opinions on the halo device in 2016. Most concluded that visibility with the device attached wasn’t as bad as they thought it would be but there was still room for improvement. Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg was particularly critical of the halo, but warmed up to the idea following his second test with it.
“It was a weird feeling. I don’t know, it felt weird,” Hulkenberg said after testing the device in FP1 at Spa last year. “To have something there which limits you going forward was obviously a new experience. I have to say the visibility wasn’t too bad. I don’t think that was a big issue but certainly it will take time to get used to.”
The second proposed cockpit protection device, Red Bull’s “windscreen,” doesn’t appear to be the proper solution to driver head protection, either. The plexiglas screen proved problematic in rain testing and failed to properly protect the driver in simulations. Teams also took issue with the proposal as it might have given Red Bull an advantage if it were to be implemented for 2018.
The FIA says it is “continuing to research alternatives,” to the halo and windscreen devices.