See what it’s like to drive a 200-mph flip flop.
As the 2018 Formula 1 season gets ready to kick off, the most talked about change is the new safety halo that is now mandatory on all racecars. While we know it looks like from the outside, Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport has released a short video showing us the driver’s point of view from the cockpit.
From this video, it’s clear that the open-air cockpit is now slightly more closed off. The leading edge of the halo now creates a visor effect, while the center support brace does not hinder visibility. Some fans have criticized the halo due to its aesthetics, but you can’t argue with the improved driver safety.
More importantly, Formula 1 says that there might be some areas where teams can change the look of the halo for competition. In a post highlighting changes for the 2018 season, Formula1.com says “though the halo is mandatory, with its core design dictated by the rules, there will be some scope for teams to modify its surface, so don’t be surprised to see a variety of small aero devices adorning this new addition.”
The purpose of the safety halo is to protect drivers from flying debris. In 2015, French Formula 1 driver Jules Bianchi died when his car veered off track and his head struck the back of a safety vehicle. Proving that the halo could be beneficial outside of Formula 1, that same year also saw IndyCar driver Justin Wilson die as a result of injuries sustained when a piece of debris from another crash struck him in the head causing him to crash into the wall at a high rate of speed.