Whiting: 'Raw' halo looks will be improved
27 July 2017 – F1 Race Director Charlie Whiting says the so far "raw" halo head protection device will be aesthetically improved before its introduction, as a result of aerodynamic additions.
Whiting and his deputy, Laurent Mekies, fielded questions from the media at the Hungarian Grand Prix, following the FIA's decision to implement the three-pronged solution for 2018.
Whiting outlined that F1 teams will be allowed to fit fairings to the halo, which will be a standard part, to deal with any aerodynamic complications, thus improving the looks.
"All the halos that we've seen bar one, as I recall, have been raw," said Whiting.
"I think we should just wait and see what the teams come up with, because they will all exploit the extra freedom that they've got, even if it is just for aero reasons.
"I'm sure that they will look more pleasing to the eye."
On how much teams will be able to alter the device, Whiting commented: "They have to use the standard halo, and that will be from a single supplier.
"We will allow them to use non-structural fairings around the upper part of the halo, which can be no more than 20mm from the main structure.
"I think there's an overall width restriction, and a restriction on how far they can encroach onto the cockpit opening, but 20mm is quite lot all the way around, and they can do what they like with that.
"I think the main reason for doing it in the first place was to give them the scope to overcome any aero changes they've got, for example airbox, and things like that."
Whiting also directly addressed the backlash from fans.
"I think you'll find that teams haven't explored the full range of possibility to make them look a little more pleasing to the eye," he went on to state.
"At the moment we've only seen bare designs and even when Williams ran with a white one, the same colour as the car, it looked a great deal better.
"I personally think that fans will get used to it.
"I know there's a little bit of pushback at the moment, but the possibilities that the teams have, I think they will come up with some pretty different designs.
"I don't think that it will be quite as bad as you think."
Mekies also confirmed that the halo will be gradually rolled out in junior single-seater categories, depending on when next generation cars are introduced.
"That's certainly the intention," said Mekies.
"As we do with any other safety features, they will [go] to the other single-seaters, but the halo is the strongest part of the car, so it is not possible to [fit] it on an existing car.
"Every new single-seater car that will come, we will be introducing it, so yes, you will see it.
"It will take some years, because in the smaller categories they can't do a new car every year, so it might take some time, but you will see it."
See also: Formula 1 drivers on halo device