F1: FIA confirms Halo device to be compulsory on all Formula 1 cars in 2018
The FIA has confirmed that the Halo, a device meant to enhance the safety of the cockpit and thereby prevent head injuries to drivers, will be present on all Formula 1 cars in the 2018 championship. The decision was made at a Strategy Group meeting that involved every F1 team, the FIA, and Liberty, the group that currently owns F1.
Back in July 2016 it had been decided that there needed to be some amount of cockpit protection for Formula 1 cars. Ferrari tested the Shield, which was seen on Sebastian Vettel's car during FP1 at the British Grand Prix, but did not meet with the approval of people from within the paddock and Strategy Group.
Formula 1 cars in 2018 will feature the halo device that will help prevent drivers from sustaining head injuries
The Halo cockpit protection safety device, which will make its debut in the 2018 season, will be developed further with input from all the F1 teams. Testing of the Halo is expected to begin over the course of the latter half of the 2017 season.
A statement issued by the FIA said, "Having developed and evaluated a large number of devices over the past five years, it had become clear that the Halo presents the best overall safety performance."
However, the device does have its share of critics. Most vocal of all was Niki Lauda, former three-time Formula 1 world champion and currently Mercedes' non-executive director. Lauda said that the introduction of the Halo is an over-reaction. He also stated that Formula 1 is currently in a situation where it is attempting to introduce new fans to the sport, something that will be destroyed by the Halo device (which destroys the look of the cars). Lauda, speaking to Audi Motor und Sport also stated that devices like the Halo, Red Bull's Aero Screen and Ferrari's Shield had been tested, and all found to be lacking. He went on to say that the right decision needed to be made, and the Halo was not the right decision.