Formula One’s strategy group met on Thursday and decided against the introduction of the Halo device for the 2017 season.
Despite rumours of the drivers being “90 to 95%” in favour of its introduction, the strategy group coted an overwhelming no. The strategy group involves the Mercedes, Ferrari, McLaren, Red Bull, Williams and Force India teams. Each team on the group will have one vote each, whilst the FIA and the FOM will have 6 votes each. The FIA are represented by Jean Todt, and FOM by none other than Bernie Ecclestone.
Halo (or flip-flop as some quarters have called it), hasn’t been shelved completely and an introduction for 2018 is still on the cards after more development and testing.
“We’ll have to look into it in more detail,” F1 supremo Ecclestone told BBC Sport.
“When you look at it, it was yes and no – we haven’t really got a lot of positives.”
Sebastian Vettel is a known admirer of the benefits that Halo device would bring.
“We don’t like the looks of it but I don’t think there’s anything really that justifies death,” he said.
“We’ve always learnt from what happened, incidents on track, and tried to improve. That will be the first time in human history that we have learned the lesson but we don’t change.
“I think it’s up to us to make sure it does happen otherwise I think we’d be quite stupid.”
Autosport reported earlier in the week that should the vote for Halo be a “no”, the FIA could force it through on safety grounds alone.
Another driver who is in favour of such a move is McLaren’s Jenson Button.
He said: “I think the decision has to be taken on safety grounds. It is not for us to decide if we have it or not, it should be decided by the sport as a whole.
“If the FIA think it is a safety issue to not have it, we should have it on the car. And if they don’t think it is an issue us not having it, then we shouldn’t have it.
“It shouldn’t even be a question for teams I personally don’t think – it is a safety issue. That is the way I think it should be.”
So another yes/no political gunfight is possibly taking place over the device!
Maybe the delay of the Halo device can open the door for Red Bull’s aero screen that has been developed alongside halo, many observers along the pit lane would prefer the look of the aero screen. Driver visibility is perhaps also better with the Red Bull version of head protection.
The strategy group found time to discuss the radio communication ban that has been a talking point recently, promising a relaxation in the rules surrounding this. The track limit debate was also on the agenda after sensors in Hungary and deleted lap times in Great Britain hit the headlines, the group have decided to relax this topic also.