FIA's Whiting explains why F1 halo was rejected for 2017

Charlie Whiting says visibility concerns with Formula 1's halo cockpit protection device was the main reason for delaying its introduction and forming plans for all drivers to now test it

FIA's Whiting explains why F1 halo was rejected for 2017

The Strategy Group on Thursday decided the device lacked the required maturity to be fully implemented on F1 cars next year but race director Whiting has said "there is no question of it being deferred further" than 2018.

GARY ANDERSON: Delaying the halo is the right move

Only Ferrari and Red Bull have run the device and even then it was only for a handful of laps, so the Strategy Group agreed all drivers needed experience using it before its introduction.

Whiting wants to formulate a plan to run the device during every grand prix weekend before the end of this season, with each team getting a chance to run it for a whole practice session at some point.

"We prepared all the rules, did all the testing and the only bit the Strategy Group felt that was missing before they could confirm it was that the drivers don't have any experience in it," said Whiting.

"That's the point, it needed that input before it could be properly introduced.

"We asked the teams to look at the possibility of running cars with it in Spa and Monza, but that was before the decision was taken to defer it until 2018.

"Now I think we should look towards a structured plan, where all teams can run it at some point during the season, at all tracks.

"We want to make it clear that every driver has to try it for a whole free practice session during the course of this year.

"There will be a standard version of the halo - a standard shape - but they would be dummy versions not actual production halos.

"They've all got the drawings for them, they all know exactly how big they have to be and how they have to mount, but they'd have to make what is effectively a dummy one."

Red Bull reserve and GP2 championship leader Pierre Gasly ran the device during in-season testing earlier this month at Silverstone, with Whiting saying he said the "view wasn't very nice".

But Whiting added: "That's only after two laps and I think with a lot of these things, I would expect drivers to get completely used to it."

When asked why there has not been more testing of the device in free practice sessions, Whiting said: "We felt we couldn't at that point insist upon putting it on one of the current cars.

"There are also problems - Red Bull for example say they can't run more than two laps before the air intakes for the cooling of the engine and gearbox start to get affected."

Whiting suggests the halo is the frontrunner to be introduced but that head protection could become a fusion of that and the aeroscreen, which was developed by Red Bull.

"At the moment it's halo, but there will be some form of additional front protection," he said.

"If for example the aeroscreen can be re-designed to fit the free head volume - which is one of the stumbling blocks at the moment - then that might be the way to go.

"It would be very similar between the aeroscreen and the halo anyway I would imagine."

Whiting said the halo's primary benefit is shielding drivers from large objects while research has shown that it stops 17% of smaller objects.

When asked if that was only a small step, Whiting said: "It will stop a wheel, it will stop large objects and protect the driver against incursion from the other car, interaction with tyre barriers, all of those things.

"You're only talking about small objects, of which 100% of them will hit him [currently] and this is reducing the likelihood of that happening."

But Force India's Bob Fernley countered: "The thing that worries Force India more than anything else is that we are still 83% vulnerable to front debris intrusion.

"That [17%] isn't good enough in my view, plus the fact there are still concerns, certainly with only running a few installation laps, about visibility from a drivers' point of view.

"It's just not acceptable from the Force India point of view."

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