Todt 'very surprised' by negativity over halo
6 December 2017 – FIA President Jean Todt says he has been "very surprised" by the negativity which has greeted the 'halo' since its introduction for 2018 was announced.
Formula 1's governing body has pushed for extra head protection in recent years, following several incidents and near-misses, and tested the halo extensively in 2016, only for its introduction to be delayed.
Other options were explored before it was outlined in July that the halo had been deemed the most suitable device, and would be mandatory on cars next year.
Several current drivers and key figures criticised the decision, given the aesthetics of the halo, while there was also a backlash from fans.
Todt, though, highlighted the "huge benefit" that the halo will have on safety and has vowed to keep pushing for improvements in this area.
"I'm very surprised… for me the halo is something which is a small change, but which can be a huge benefit on safety," commented Todt.
"I must say I'm fascinated to see how much I have heard about the introduction of the halo in Formula 1, which is a kind of normal [continuity] in trying to progress in safety in single seater categories.
"I can agree with the fact that Formula 1 being the pinnacle of motorsport, you [the media] are much more vocal when we speak about Formula 1.
"But it has been introduced in other single seater categories, with no real comments.
"For me, the essential thing is that it will make racing safer for the driver.
"Now it's an engineers' issue, and so far it's the best which they have found – there were two different studies, but the halo has been the one which seems to give the best result.
"Unfortunately, it is not bullet-proof.
"Motorsport is less dangerous than it was, but it is still dangerous. Whatever we will be able to do, to make the cars safer, to put the drivers in a safer situation, we will do it."
Alongside the halo research, on and off track tests were carried out with a 'shield' concept, while Red Bull also ran its own 'aeroscreen' device.