Raikkonen tries halo protection device to test visibility

on
F1 Test, Barcelona, Circuit de Catalunyaes

Ferrari sent out Kimi Raikkonen for his installation lap on the 7th day of testing with an SF16-H that featured a Halo structure. A prototype to improve driver safety in Formula One as of 2017, Raikkonen was sent out to determine if the design impeded driver visibility.

Sent out for a single lap in the morning, Raikkonen said that visibility was "OK", via the FIA.

"The first impression on the visibility test is positive," Raikkonen said. "The structure does not hamper visibility."

The carbon fibre element that fits to the car on each side of the cockpit, and in the centre of the car, just ahead of the steering wheel is designed to protect drivers against impacts from various items that would otherwise hit the driver's helmet. Investigation into the system started a while ago, but was sped up when Fernando Alonso escaped serious injuries when Romain Grosjean's car scraped over his at the start of the Belgian GP in 2013.

In its current design, which the FIA created in collaboration with Mercedes, it is expected to add around 5kg to the car.

The canopy alternative, a windshield similar to that found on jet fighters, was also considered, but complexities, such as extracting a driver from his car when it is upside down have for now favoured the Halo design.