Force India: Late halo call means '18 car could be late for testing

The late decision to introduce the halo cockpit protection device for 2018 could make next year's Formula 1 cars late for pre-season testing, according to Force India's Otmar Szafnauer

Force India: Late halo call means '18 car could be late for testing

The FIA confirmed in July that the halo would be mandatory in 2018, despite opposition from nine of the 10 teams.

Force India's chief operating officer Szafnauer says the introduction will delay work on the chassis, given the loading from the halo has a direct effect on the structure of the chassis.

"It may delay next year's car," Szafnauer told Autosport. "There's a finite amount of time to design and build a monocoque.

"There is a finite amount of time that it takes to design and make a monocoque, and if we don't get definition in that timeframe, all it does is it delays when it's produced.

"Right now, it looks like we may not be able to produce it in time for testing."

Szafnauer added that if the criteria of the FIA crash tests are very high, the way the Halo is integrated with the chassis will impact the design of the monocoque would be impacted.

He said it could leave teams "screwed" if it fails.

"When Alex Wurz rolled and broke the rollhoop [in the 1998 Canadian GP], the rollhoop test criteria went up by an order of magnitude," said Szafnauer.

"I remember designing and trying to make a rollhoop that actually passed the test criteria. It took forever.

"We eventually did it, but the amount of times we failed and redesigned...

"The nice thing with the rollhoop was you could just cut it off and put another one on that, so the whole monocoque wouldn't have to be redesigned.

"If this test criteria is so high that the halo fails, and it fails the monocoque, we're screwed."

Szafnauer understands the reasoning for the introducing the halo, but he feels it is being implemented too quickly.

"It's rushed," he said. "It would have been nice to have had another year to do it properly. It is what it is.

"The only way to stop it is if the FIA stops it and says we're going to do it in a year's time.

"It's safer to do it properly than to rush it, that's the only way I can see stopping it."

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