Formula One is set to grow significantly safer for its drivers. Starting next season, all cars on the grid will incorporate a “halo” structure similar to the one that Ferrari has been testing.
Though traditionally known as an “open cockpit” format, the powers that be have been evaluating two competing designs to protect drivers’ heads from impact. Concerns were raised particularly following the death of Jules Bianchi last year from injuries sustained in the 2014 Japanese Grand Prix when his Marussia F1 car collided with a recovery vehicle.
One design (dubbed the “aeroscreen”) was tested by Red Bull during practice sessions for the Russian Grand Prix in Sochi. The “halo” device, meanwhile, was run by Ferrari during testing at Montmelo and practice sessions at the Spanish Grand Prix. Mercedes proposed a similar design as well.
Autosport reports that, due primarily to time constraints, it’s the halo that got the go-ahead from a gathering of the teams’ technical directors in Monaco this weekend. The design revolves around a carbon-fiber frame installed over the cockpit instead of the transparent windscreen of the Red Bull design.
The device that will be implemented, however, will likely be more streamlined and less intrusive than the version pictured. Although the halo will see use next season, the aeroscreen design could be revisited in the future for implementation in subsequent seasons. The halo will be tested further starting June 24 before final approval is slated to be signed-off on July 6.