F1 circuits to change start lights due to HALO

In one of those possibly unanticipated result situations, the FIA have moved to adjust the starting lights because the new HALO obstructs some driver’s vision of the start lights depending on where they are on the grid.

“With the halo what we’ve asked every circuit to do is to make the lights at a standard height above the track,” said Whiting.

“We’ve also put a repeat set of lights, in this case off to the left, over the verge.

“Those repeat lights were normally halfway up the grid, and they were fitted round about 2009, when the rear wings became higher on the cars.

“Some drivers complained about not being able to see the main start lights, so that’s when we introduced an extra set.

“But now the wings have been lowered, there’s no need for those halfway up the grid. So I’ve decided to utilise them somewhere else.

“Pole position seems to be the worst case scenario with the halo there – maybe the driver can’t quite see the lights, or see only half of them, and he might have to move his head too much.

“But then he’s got a repeat set of lights which are five metres further down.”

In order to test the new lights, the FIA have allowed a trial on Friday of the starting procedure which is a bit unorthodox as well.

“We haven’t normally allowed practice starts on the grid here because it’s quite a tight timetable and things like that,” Whiting added.

“What I thought would be a good idea was to give the driver sight of those lights rather than have them look at them for the first time on Sunday evening.”

It would seem that all circuits will now have to invest in new lighting to accommodate the HALO but I assume the FIA knew this would be an issue back when they were entertaining making the HALO mandatory. I also recall them saying something or other about the elevation change at Spa and how it wasn’t an issue although some drivers are concerned that it could be.

F1 has a history of ushering in new regulations that beget a series of issues and unaccounted consequences—a reason I am no fan of pragmatism over prudence. If you think of the money spent already on HALO from complete new chassis fabrication for all teams, HALO safety and application studies, new circuit changes with lighting gantries and much more, it would suggest that of the three grand trump cards in the FIA’s hand—safety, sustainability and cost-cutting—safety trumps cost in the triumvirate of trump cards.

Hat Tip: Autosport

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I keep having one question about the halo…. Au Rouge…. seems to me it will be right in the way. Probably not the only track…


I think you can rest easy CarrizoJim, WEC LMP1 cars have a smaller field of vision than F1 cars with a halo, and they get around Spa pretty well, including up and around Au Rouge – phew!


In principle the height and position of the drivers head in relation to the outline of the halo ought to give a calculated blind spot based on distance and elevation. It might need more than a slide rule to figure it out but this is the pinnacle of motorsports engineering so not exactly more demanding than CFD. The simulated blind spot could be programmed in to all the track simulators and voila! Too difficult…?


What if flags are waved and afterwards the drivers claim they couldn’t see them because of the Halo. OK they also have cockpit displays but I guess unless they see a real flag they might not be inclined to lift the throttle.


It’s really ridiculous. F1 is supposed to be the place where super-boffins build the most sophisticated cars in the world, with some governing body with more super-boffins responsible for drawing up the rules for this uber-brainy and incredibly expensive tech-fest. And now, trying their hand at increasing head protection even further … the first lesson they have to learn is that, when you’re building a car, ideally you build it in such a way that you can see where you’re going. Unhindered. As in: built from a transparent material, e.g. glass or poly-something or whatever. Just see to it that… Read more »


Has there been a driver report that says their view is obstructed in a way that affects their safety with the HALO. I remember some of the ‘wings’ that BMW used in the past which hindered the driver view much more, IMHO.

sunny stivala

Anyone catch what Darren Heath “meltdown” was about?.
“I’ve been photographing #F1 professionally for 30 years. Senna, Prost, Mansell, Alonso, Vettel, et al. Yet never ever have I seen a such a shockingly poor & disrespectful, monstrously egotistical display, as I & many others witnessed from the current world champion today #AusGP”.

sunny stivala

While the small lull after the first 40 minutes of FP1 for them to give tires back. That Darren Heath angry twitt was at 1.05pm mar 22 2018 from Melbourne track, at the time I came on it 274 people were talking about it.

James Hammond

Just switched on to watch some P2. First onboard shot I have seen is ridiculous. Can’t see a thing. Different for the driver, but as a consumer, it’s worthless.

James Hammond

Ok, bit of a knee jerk. Seems most are ok. It was Williams that has a terrible camera position, I have noticed so far.


Watching FP2 now, damn that halo is fracking awful!

Michael H

Wow, those in-car shots are complete crap. I thought they were bad..then I saw the Hamilton in-car shot. This HALO is a fail. Racing isn’t supposed to be 100% safe. It takes away the element of fear and respect. Not just my opinion, the opinion of Nigel Mansell that expressed today in a VERY good Sky Sports interview.

WTH is happening to this sport?

Michael H

Quoting Christian Horner when asked today what he felt about the HALO? He said, “I hate the d–n things”. I concur. Terrible in-car views. Hamilton’s was particularly bad. Quoting Nigel Mansell when asked (today I think) his opinion on the HALO. After a very carefully worded response which include him saying that the danger they faced in his day was considered “An acceptable risk”, finished by saying, “Is the HALO a step too far”?


Is this some sort of a beat up?
I’m pretty sure that the FIA brought this up at the time the halo was launched. Making sure that drivers could see lights, marshal signals, etc was mentioned, and others talked about having to reposition cameras to ensure that the drivers would be seen.
And now its happening?……Outrageous!!!!!!!!