F1 2018: Halo safety device must withstand 'double-decker bus'
Mercedes' Allison on the "significant" challenge of F1's new system
By James Galloway
Last Updated: 08/02/18 12:09pm
F1's controversial halo device can take the weight of a double-decker bus, according to Mercedes' technical boss.
James Allison says incorporating the mandatory new-for-2018 head protection system, which is made from titanium, in the design of their new car has posed a "significant challenge" due to its weight and impact on aerodynamics.
And the Mercedes chief has revealed the level of force the new-look car needs to withstand.
"We had to strengthen the design of the chassis so it would be able to take roughly the weight of a London double-decker bus sitting on the top of this halo," Allison said in a video released by Mercedes.
"To make sure it would be strong enough to withstand the type of event that it's designed to protect the driver's head against."
The flip-flop shaped halo which goes over and around a driver's head is being produced by a Dutch company and issued as standard to all teams. The only amendment F1 squads can make is the addition of fairings to improve aerodynamics.
Speaking to Sky Sports recently, Renault boss Cyril Abiteboul admitted his team viewed the halo as "heavy and not very nice aesthetically" but was confident the look of the safety device would improve in years to come.
Allison agrees that F1 will find ways to make the halo more visually appealing.
"Nothing in Formula 1 stands still for long and we will all be taking this first go and trying to improve it," he added.
"Trying to make sure the safety gets better but also the aesthetics. It's a bit of acquired taste and we're still busy acquiring it, but I think there are things that we can do in coming seasons to also make it look nicer on the car."
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