2018 the year is marked with red in the calendar of the FIA to introduce the much-trumpeted protection in the cockpit of the cars, an issue that has occupied many pages and covers from the incident of Felipe Massa and the death of Henry Surtees in 2009, and that the accidents are fatal Dan Wheldon, Jules Bianchi and Justin Wilson have been in charge of keeping in the fore, forcing the implementation of solutions practices.
At the beginning of last season, it appeared the HALO, a safety device consisting of a solid bar in the front position, and upper side with respect to the pilot’s head. Although it has generated positive comments from several pilots, has also been an object of rejection on the part of others, as well as a large group of computers, and a large part of the fans for its aesthetics and the potential difficulty that could lead to visibility and a quick exit of the car.
As a response, Red Bull introduced its proposal for a half-dome, call Aeroscreen, with a solid and sturdy glass in front of the driver’s helmet, reinforced at their upper points, without losing the characteristic of cockpit open. Although their design was better accepted in terms of aesthetics, there have been doubts about its effectiveness, on the basis of some initial tests that were not too satisfactory. This caused Red Bull, given the lack of guarantees for investing in the project, decided to halt, and the HALO just happened to be the only option.
Even so, a year view of the regulated protection, the HALO has not passed all of the screens, since it requires a series of approvals that have not yet been produced. For this reason, Laurent Mekies does not rule out the possibility of reviving the concept of the Aeroscreen. The new race director of the FIA, which will take the place of the withdrawn Herbie Blash, has commented that it could still be rescued, but that would require a final rejection to the HALO: “Technically, it is possible, perhaps in five or six months if we wanted to do it“, ” said Mekies in the show Autosport International. “We are waiting for the final decision of our heads to know if they want the HALO, if you want the dome, if you want something in between or if you want something more aesthetically pleasing, even if there is a price to pay. Everything is on the table. We do not consider that there is nothing impossible right now“.
Mekies said the main problem to give the nod to the HALO lies not in its development, if not in its concept, and in the own Formula 1 as a racing car with the passenger compartment open. This, he says, the final decision will be the responsibility of those who put the money:
“it Is a conversation philosophical. The engineering work is finished. Someone has to say if it’s right for Formula 1 or not, and if it is compatible with your DNA. The net benefit in safety is established. That said, we accept that a Formula 1 is not a closed car, so what is correct for the Formula 1? Someone should answer those questions, primarily the shareholders. We have to assess this aspect, because the sport is about. Is what is being discussed intensely now”.