Date: 14th August 2016 at 4:32pm
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Discussions regarding enclosed cockpits in Formula One has been a hot topic in 2016.

The ‘Halo’ device was put forward and Formula One first saw the structure in practice as Ferrari tested a version on an installation lap.

The device has a vertical strut support in front of the driver and two arms curl around the drivers helmet towards the back of the car which provides some protection from debris.

It didn’t look pretty and it impaired the drivers vision, which earned the device some negative feedback.

Red Bull Racing then designed and tested a canopy version, which had a screen in front of the driver.

It was more aesthetically pleasing, but development was halted as a decision on the direction Formula One wanted to take was in limbo.

Now Formula One’s Strategy Group has voted against the introduction of the Halo head protection device for the 2017 season.

Instead Formula One wants to evaluate all potential solutions and ‘agreed unanimously’ that cockpit protection should be introduced for 2018.

This upset a few drivers who wanted to see something implemented sooner.

But Felipe Massa, who once suffered a head injury due to being struck on the helmet by a suspension spring, believes whatever is introduced needs to have proper testing.

‘We need to put it in the car and not just do an installation lap. You need to do a proper test, which is the most important thing they need to start doing. And then you have a proper answer [on whether or not it should be introduced]. Massa told motorsport.com.

‘I think the most important thing is we need to understand if the Halo is really a big step forward. If it’s a step forward it would be nice to have better safety in the car.

‘But I think the most important thing is people to try it properly. I have never tried it, so how can I answer if it’s the best thing or not?

‘It would be nice to have it in the car and to try it at to see if the Halo changes anything for the visibility. I don’t think they need to not put it in the car because it looks ugly.

 

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