F1 ring master Bernie Ecclestone has denied reports that the delaying of Halo’s introduction for 2017 is down to potential legal issues. These ‘potential’ legal issues could arise from a future accident where head injuries to the driver could occur.
Bernie has stated that he is fully behind the postponement of halo’s introduction, and stated the device may in fact be replaced by an alternative system.
As for halo though, the device is going to be made available for other drivers to test from the Spa-Franchorchamps round and onwards. In hindsight this should have happened well before now, to gauge valuable feedback from the drivers which will enable the fine-tuning of the device for implementation.
“We’re going to have a look at it,” Ecclestone told Motorsport.com. “We’re not calling it the Halo, we’re just looking at it as frontal protection for drivers.
“We want them to get in the cars with this current format and see if they like it or not. A couple of drivers have done a few laps, but I think they should do a whole race to see if they like being enclosed.”
He added: “For 2018 we will come up with something that’s going to give more protection for the drivers.”
On the subject of legal threats stemming from the halo concept being deemed ‘safe’, and then injuries occurring Bernie said:
“What happens if there’s an accident and the Halo crushes a guy? Who’s going to take that responsibility?
“If there’s an accident and somebody’s trapped in the car, maybe the car caught light, and the guy couldn’t get out? Niki [Lauda] was in the Strategy Group and he pointed it out, because he’s the only one who can talk about those sort of things.”
Bernie also said that Charlie Whiting (who carries the can for track and driver safety), wasn’t in a difficult position over halo introduction.
“Not really. Charlie is the race director. It’s the decision of the Strategy Group, to then go to the F1 Commission, and then it will be a regulation.”
Prompted on whether all parties would have shared responsibility on the introduction of any device, Bernie said: “Absolutely, 100 percent.”