Whiting: Aeroscreen would not have been as effective as halo at Spa


FIA race director Charlie Whiting doesn't believe an aeroscreen mounted on Charles Leclerc's Sauber would have protected the French driver as well as the halo did at Spa earlier this year.

During the development phase of F1's cockpit safety device, the FIA tested the merits of both the halo and the aeroscreen, a concept also trialed by IndyCar, but the former was ultimately selected for F1.

The halo's mandatory introduction was met with controversy however, mainly for its ungracious appearance while the aeroscreen's aesthetics were generally better accepted by teams and drivers.

The governing body's investigation into the crash that occurred at the start of last summer's Belgian Grand Prix, the findings of which were released last week, concluded that Charles Leclerc had likely been sparred a head injury thanks to the halo.

According to Whiting, the safety element fulfilled a protective role that the aeroscreen would not have been able to provide in Spa's specific circumstances.

"What we’ve seen with the accident in Spa is that the sort of device tested by IndyCar would probably not have been as effective, it would probably only offer about 10 per cent of the protection that Halo offers," explained Whiting.

In a bid to better integrate the halo in the future, the device will undergo a redesign for 2021.

"The next generation of halo will be part of the F1 regulation update planned for 2021," FIA safety director Adam Baker said.

"Importantly the halo is a key element of the car concept from the beginning, enabling a true structural integration and a shape which blends visually into the profile of the car.


"The new camera position gives us a better view of the upper body and its interaction with the cockpit environment without obstruction from the steering wheel. 

"The halo camera will be fitted in all cars for the first Formula E race of season five in Riyadh. It will then be adopted into F1 for 2019 and F2 for 2020."

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