The FIA have sanctioned the use of ducts for teams to exploit when implementing their Halo devices to the 2018 F1 cars.
The basic design seen by fans on F1 cars up until now have been just mockups of the internal structure. It is expected that teams will alter the shape into something more aero friendly using carbon fairings and panels around the titanium core structure.
James Key at Toro Rosso confirmed this by saying back in December that the Halo will look ‘more F1’ than what we’ve seen thus far.
“I think with the aero bits on it then it will look slightly more Formula One, let’s say, than the frames we saw before. They will be a little bit more refined visually, because teams have had time to work a bit on optimising the aerodynamics around them.”
The biggest concern for teams has been the effect of the aero interacting with the rear wing and engine intake located downwind of the Halo. The FIA regulators allowed a margin of 200 millimeters with which the teams can add paneling to negate these aero issues but it seems already teams are seeing this as an exploit. McLaren was one of the first teams to experiment with this ducting, as part of the post-season testing in Abu Dhabi last November.
Now McLaren Chief Aerodynamicist and former Red Bull Newey protégé, Peter Prodomou reveals “Of course, the aerodynamics suffers from the Halo. First, it is about mitigating these disadvantages. But then we also looked to see if the halo also offers an opportunity. In fact, the head protection opens up some interesting solutions. I’m convinced that we’ll have very different approaches. ”
Williams will be the first to reveal their 2018 car with it’s Halo device first, scheduled for the 15th of February.
February 15: Williams (London)
February 19: Red Bull Racing (Internet)
February 20: Renault (Internet)
February 20: Clean (Internet)
February 22: Ferrari (Maranello)
February 22: Mercedes (Silverstone)
February 23: McLaren (Internet)
February 26: Toro Rosso (Barcelona)
It’s interesting to compare the halo to the direction that IndyCar is going with a windscreen and try and determine which offers both better safety and aero opportunities.
certainly one is a better looking option than the other, but the ‘proof is in the pudding’ (or running)
I said on twitter that it seems there is a fundamental difference in reasoning between the halo and a windscreen, which undoubtedly comes from the FIA and IndyCar looking at their own incident data. The halo solution seems to be mostly concerned with a large object like a tyre or a car getting launched into the air, like Grosjean at Spa in 2012, coming down on a car / driver. While he windscreen offers protection from objects coming straight at a driver, like debris or pieces of tyre, and having no protection from an object coming straight down.