How to build a halo
Autosport Plus

How to build a halo

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It's strong enough to support the weight of two African elephants, deflect a suitcase travelling at 140mph... and, hopefully, save lives. So what, asks MARC CUTLER, makes motor racing's latest safety device so tough?

It all starts with titanium - and plenty of it.

"We had to buy about ten tonnes of high-strength titanium within one-and-a-half months, and receive it all in time and in perfect condition," says Steffen Zacharias of Germany's CP Autosport, one of the three manufacturers chosen by the FIA to be official suppliers of the new halo safety device.

'High strength' means Grade 5 titanium, which is used extensively in the aerospace industry owing to its near-optimal balance between structural stiffness and weight. But this comes at a cost, and not just in terms of expenditure on raw materials: titanium is a difficult and demanding material with which to work, which is why so few manufacturers made it through the tendering process.

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Series Formula 1
Author GP Racing