After their own head protection concept – ‘Aeroscreen’ – was rejected in favour of Ferrari’s earlier this year, Red Bull have moved on quickly and begun trialling their own Halo device this week at the Silverstone test.
The Milton Keynes outfit became the first team other than Ferrari to run a Halo device yesterday as they fitted one to GP2 driver Pierre Gasly’s car during the day one of the test for an installation lap.
“Actually I was a bit surprised, it doesn’t change much,” said Gasly, who is testing for Red Bull this week and is the latest product of their Young Driver Programme “It looks a bit weird from the inside, you can see that you have something on top of your helmet. And also, the vision in the straight line when you look you see this triangle on the top. For sure it looks different.”
Halo has come under scrutiny from fans for it’s less than appealing aesthetics as well as it changing the open cockpit history of Formula One. It’s practicality for quick escapes from the cockpit have also been questioned however the FIA are keen to ensure there is some kind of head protection in 2017.
“I don’t really like it. For me, F1 is always open cockpit and it doesn’t look really like that with the Halo. From the inside it doesn’t change much so we’ll see what they say about it but I think F1 should stay as it is.”
Team Principal Christian Horner wants the FIA to take more time with any decision over head protection and not rush through a limited solution. He is not the only one, with Force India voice concerns and Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel voicing some reservations on the device as well.
Teams have been told to design their 2017 cars with Halo in mind, but the system still has some hoops to jump through before it is confirmed for next season, including passing across the desk of F1’s head honcho Bernie Ecclestone.