Like it or hate it, but you can't ignore it! The old proverb holds absolutely true for the HALO safety cockpit systems. The much talked about safety system is the next big thing for the FIA and they can't stop going gaga over the HALO cockpit design. Previewed a couple of times, and tested infinite times, the HALO system is said to be a life changer for any F1 driver.
While the system itself is receiving mixed response, the FIA is taking all necessary steps to make it a mandatory change in the F1 cars. One such event to demonstrate the safety ability of the HALO cockpit has left the F1 drivers stunned. The presentation was conducted by Race director Charlie Whiting, safety director Laurent Mekies and long time safety consultant Andy Mellor.
The safety presentation was aimed at showing the way HALO behaves and how does it fair when compare with rivals. And some real shocking data was revealed. "I think after the slide they showed us today and the images, they are quite shocking," said Toro Rosso's Carlos Sainz. "You can see what it does and how many lives it could have saved."
The presentation showed incidents from the past F1, GP2 and GP3 races and showed how the HALO would have reacted. "The drivers, even if we hate it and we know it's not the DNA of our sport, when you look at it it actually makes sense, said Sainz. "I don't like it, but it's something that even if you don't like it, it's like when your dad tells you you are wrong. You know he's right, but you don't want to admit it."
The presentation also compared the HALO from the Red Bill developed Aeroscreen and explained why HALO is better? "The arguments they gave us regarding safety were strong. They gave us cases of when the wheel comes off, when you do this or do that. Obviously if you really want we can make F1 completely sterile and completely safe – but the question mark is where we need to stop," said Daniil Kvyat.
Sainz's partner and Red Bull driver Kvyat added, "I don't know if it is already a step too far or we have just reached the borderline with the Halo. I might be playing with the devil and I have said many times that when I come to the race track, I know that it might be my last day in the office. It looks like now, it is a bit fading away. I am not trying to be a hero or anything but in the end we are also racing for other people and in the end F1 is a show. But that is why it is so popular."
While the teams are busy for the Hungarian GP this weekend, FIA is focused to introduce the HALO in the 2017 season. They will hold a strategy meeting to explain the merits of the HALO and push the top teams to include it in the 2017 season. Many drivers and teams are not satisfied with it aesthetically, but they accept its benefit.
"I think it's very clear it saves lives, I'm 100 percent sure. Aesthetically no one likes it, so we need to balance how much is worth it to save a life per five or 10 years against how bad the repercussion against Formula 1 is." Sainz adds, "I think the voting will start soon and everybody will put their hands up in favour or against, but the FIA will do all they can to provide with an item that actually works pretty well in many situations."