The FIA’s recent decision to make the Halo cockpit protection system mandatory for the F1 2018 season has been met with negative feedback from the majority of the F1 community.
The latest and one of the most influential names to chime in on the matter is 3 time F1 World Champion and current non-executive chairman of the Mercedes F1 Team Niki Lauda.
Photo : Sutton Images
Lauda who famously almost died due to being stuck in a burning car at the 1976 German Grand Prix has always been very vocal about his opinions regarding safety in motorsport.
However, when it comes to adopting the Halo, Lauda has said that the introduction of the Halo is a backwards step and the aesthetics of the device destroys F1’s bid to be popular and attract new fans.
“We tested the Halo, the Shield, and the Red Bull Aeroscreen as a cockpit protection, but none convinced 100 percent”, he said talking to Auto Motor und Sport. “You have to make the right decision in such a situation. The Halo is the wrong one.
“We are trying hard with faster cars and getting closer to the spectators to attract new fans to the sport. But this now is destroyed by an overreaction.”
Although he hasn’t fully voiced his opinion about the visibility and safety aspect of adopting the Halo, Niki Lauda strongly feels that F1 is as safe as it can be and these “overreactions” destroy the DNA of Formula One racing.
“The Halo destroys the DNA of an F1 car”, Lauda explained. “There is 100 percent a better solution than the Halo. Otherwise we would not have tried three ideas.
“The FIA has made F1 as safe as it gets. Also the danger of flying wheels is largely eliminated because the wheels are always more firmly attached. The risk to the drivers has become minimal.
“It would have been more sensible to go in the direction of cockpit protection if we find something that does not destroy the looks of the car, that it be introduced in 2019. It’s as simple as that. There is no reason to do something we will regret later.”
Feature image : XPB Images
– Aditya Bhat.