FIA decides on halo device for 2017

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Formula One's governing body, the FIA, has decided to introduce the 'halo' head protection device as of the 2017 F1 Championship. The rule makers therefore also opted against Red Bull's alternative windscreen.

Technical chiefs have agreed that from the two options available, the Halo solution is the only one that can possibly introduced due to the complexities in car design that the windscreen solutions brings with it.

The windscreen was arguable the more aesthetic solution, and also provides a better visibility for drivers. Its technical limitations proved however difficult to overcome in time for 2017. Quickly after Red Bull Racing tries the device at the Russian Grand Prix weekend, it emerged that the screen would mandate numerous car changes, given the fact that almost all useable airflow that normally goes into the airbox was diverted, creating a considerable loss of engine performance and reduced cooling capacity.

Ferrari's Halo design, as tested briefly in pre-season testing at Barcelona was less of an influence on the car, but instead created varied fan and driver response, especially because its central pillar ahead of the driver's helmet may be cumbersome, and a considerable hindrance in a driver's line of sight.

However, with the FIA promising to have a final decision by the end of June, it is now decided to stick to the halo design, even though Ferrari is set to test an evolution at its track in Fiorano. This new version is to be made of titanium, and expected to have reduced dimensions at the points where the three bars join, ahead of the driver's helmet.