IT’S the controversial, unsightly addition that some fans and drivers claim is against the DNA of Formula 1.
This is what the new halo looks like from the cockpit.
Mercedes AMG F1 released a video from Valtteri Bottas’ point of view as he took the brand new W09 out for a handful of laps at Silverstone.
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Watch the video in the player below:
The visor-mounted camera appears to show that drivers’ forward vision isn’t too heavily impacted by the new head protection system, the stalk that attaches the halo to the front of the cockpit blocking only a tiny percentage of the pilot’s eye line.
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Daniel Ricciardo, the first driver to turn laps in a 2018-spec car with the final version of the halo fitted, said earlier this week that he barely even noticed it was there.
“Before today I’d only done a couple of installs with the Halo, so it was pretty new — but I really didn’t notice it was there,” he said.
“Honestly, unless there’s (trackside signage) above, I don’t see any issues at all on a flat track.
“It is a bit awkward to jump in and out — I’m probably going to pull an adductor! — but it’s OK. A small challenge but we’ll get over it.”
The bigger hurdle may be for those outside the cockpit.
At the W09’s launch, Mercedes team chief Toto Wolff made it brutally clear that he is no fan of the halo.
“If you give me a chainsaw I would take it off,” he said.
“I think we need to look after the driver’s safety, but what we have implemented is aesthetically not appealing and we need to come up with a solution that simply looks better.”
This year’s F1 cars are the first to be designed to take the halo, which must withstand an impact the equivalent of being hit by a double-decker bus.
While the physical structure of the halo is mandated by the sport’s governing body, the FIA, teams are allowed to fit their own aerodynamic shrouding to minimise its impact on the rest of the car’s bodywork.