No HALO, no safety car starts

SUZUKA, JAPAN - SEPTEMBER 25: (EDITORS NOTE: Image has been created using digital filters) Daniil Kvyat of Russia and Infiniti Red Bull Racing drives during practice for the Formula One Grand Prix of Japan at Suzuka Circuit on September 25, 2015 in Suzuka. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

According to reports, there have been a few details ironed out for the coming seasons in Formula 1. The first to be decided, after a meeting to vote, is that the controversial HALO system will be delayed until 2018 at which time the FIA is set to explore the feasibility of the device further.

While some drivers and teams are for the device, others are not and besides the visual impact and look of the device, there are concerns that it could actually add to safety concerns. The FIA said:

“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,”

Another decision was discussed in the matter of starting races behind the safety car which has happened twice this year with the most recent occasion at the British Grand Prix and many fans felt deprived of what may have been an interesting standing start.

The concept here would be to run behind the safety car to establish a reasonable starting condition and then stage the cars for a standing start. The FIA’s Charlie Whiting is said to be holding a conference to explain the proposals on Friday.

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A couple of other changes were made as well – it was apparently agreed that there’d be no more policing of track limits (I bet that’ll be reversed the instant there’s a public backlash).

Regarding the safety car starts, the change does nothing to stop the annoying spectacle of the SC trundling around until the racing line’s ready for inters or slicks. All it will ensure is a chaotic and dangerous standing start on cold tyres & brakes when the SC finally leaves the track, followed by an equally chaotic dive into the pits.


This shows – once again – just how incapable F1 is to make reasonable decisions that make things simpler to deal with. They could simply have said that if the conditions are too wet for the current rain tyres, we wait until it is possible to drive. When/if the conditions are wet, but not more than the rain tyres can deal with, let’s give the drivers two exploratory laps behind the safety car, and then send them on their way. That way, we’ve diminished the risk of a carbon fibre cloud in turn 1, but other than that, let them… Read more »

Guy Fawkes

My question for the HALO is the ability to extricate the driver in a rollover. Earlier this year in the Guitierrez/Alonso crash, had the car been on fire could Alonso have been able to get out of the car that quickly with the HALO device in place? If a car rolls over is the HALO going to stay in place or break off, possibly injuring the driver? Too many questions.

Joe Mama

Sorry guys, I can’t agree on Halo. Questions about what it might NOT stop are pure whitewash unless the items in question would be better stopped with just a helmet…a flock of marshmallow peeps comes to mind as a possible scanario. But a tire from overhead? Do you seriously think a driver would be better off without a Halo on the car in the event a tire came flying at his head? The argument that it’s too close to next season is also bunk…the cars are already designed to work with it. Next point… Access to the cockpit could conceivably… Read more »


I don’t recall ever arguing that the driver would be safer without the Halo in an incident where a wheel comes flying at his head. If I did say that somewhere, you’re welcome to point me to it. What I am questioning, however, is whether the Halo is designed to combat a problem that has already been solved by other means (when did you last see a wheel come off an F1 car? It’d have to rip off the kevlar wheel tethers first). I also question whether the current Halo design would protect against a wheel hitting the driver from… Read more »

Alianora La Canta

Fernando Alonso in Australia. He had no wheels on the inner (left) side by the time the car stopped. Fortunately it was an accident where the relevant protection (circuit boundary walls) was more than up to the job requested of it.


Actually, if you look closely at the pictures, all four wheels are still attached (hanging on by the kevlar wheel tethers that run through the wishbones). The left rear tyre came off the rim, but other than that they’re all there.

Btw, that was one mighty crash – I was really glad (and a little bit surprised, even) to see him walk away from that one.

Alianora La Canta

Doubting Halo safety is also valid in incidents where its involvement would aggravate the situation e.g. funnelling small debris into the helmet that would have missed altogether, the directional nature of titanium’s strength (in Halo 2’s case – Halo 1 is steel) failing to deflect a car that in previous times would have gone over the airbox as a “near miss”, causing the Halo to break and become energised debris aimed straight for the helmet. Both of the examples cited are more common than the scenarios from which Halo seeks to protect, though the degree of risk created by Halo… Read more »


It seems the track limits are still being upheld, though, which to me is sensible. The regulation still stands (it was never changed, in fact – the only thing that changed was how strictly they were enforcing it), and Charlie can and will still decide which corners he and the stewards will be looking more closely at (the ones where they determine you will actually gain an advantage by going wide, for instance). Also, I just heard that from next year, if there is a red flag during the race, the teams aren’t going to be allowed to make any… Read more »

Paul KieferJr

Well, I suppose it could be worse: It could be NASCAR (no rain tires).

Guy Fawkes

I chuckle when NASCAR announcers say “The greatest drivers in the world are gathered here today for…”. Until they run in the rain that’s one of the largest lies ever told. And the sad thing is that years ago they had successful testing of rain tires but never used them in competition. Apparently four hours of commentators trying desperately to find ANYTHING to make interesting television is perfectly fine. I’ll never get it.


At least the FIA is willing to try new things and then quickly get rid of them when they don’t work.

Tom Firth

Charlie Whiting was much clearer – Halo will be introduced in 2018.

Giving them chance to test it but it will be implemented.

Are Buntz

I just read the FIA (?) are going to explore “active” cockpit protection… no doubt teams will explore using it as a movable aerodynamic device… encountering imagined flying objects at the end of every straight.


Apparently, another item that has been changed is that in qualifying, whenever a double waved flag situation occurs, the session will be red flagged. Charlie Whiting said this will “remove any discussion about whether a driver slowed down”.