Halo (safety Device)
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Halo Safety Device

The halo system on a Ferrari SF71H driven by Kimi Räikkönen during pre-season testing in February 2018

The halo is a driver crash-protection system used in open-wheel racing series, which consists of a curved bar placed to protect the driver's head.

The first tests of the halo were carried out in 2016 and in July 2017. Since the 2018 season the FIA has made the halo mandatory on every vehicle in Formula 1, Formula 2, Formula 3, Formula Regional, Formula E and also Formula 4 as a new safety measure.[1] Some other open-wheel racing series also utilise the halo, such as IndyCar Series, Indy Lights, Super Formula, Super Formula Lights, Euroformula Open and Australian S5000. The IndyCar halo is used as a structural frame for the aeroscreen.


The system consists of a bar that surrounds the driver's head and is connected by three points to the vehicle frame. The halo is made of titanium and weighed around 7 kilograms (15 lb) in the version presented in 2016, then rose to 9 kilograms (20 lb) in 2017.[2]

The system is not developed by the teams, but is manufactured by three approved external manufacturers chosen by the FIA and has the same specification for all vehicles.[3]

In a simulation performed by the FIA, using the data of 40 real incidents, the use of the system led to a 17% theoretical increase in the survival rate of the driver.[4]

History and development

During development, the FIA examined three fundamental scenarios--collision between two vehicles, contact between a vehicle and the surrounding environment (such as barriers) and collisions with vehicles and debris. Tests have shown that the halo system can significantly reduce the risk of injury to the driver. In many cases the system was able to prevent the helmet from coming into contact with a barrier when checked against a series of accidents that had occurred in the past. During the study of the last case it was found that the halo was able to deflect large objects and provide greater protection against smaller debris.[5]

Halo system at the Spark SRT05e. The halo for the Gen2 car consists of LED lights that indicate the level of power mode the car is in (blue for ATTACK MODE and magenta for Fanboost).

In August 2017 the Dallara F2 2018, a new Formula 2 car, was presented and was the first to install the halo system.[6] The SRT05e Formula E car presented in January 2018 had a halo.[7] In November 2018, the 2019 FIA Formula 3 car, which was unveiled in Abu Dhabi, installed the halo too.[8] Beginning in 2021, the Indy Lights' IL-15 began using the halo.[9]

Alternative systems

As an alternative to the halo system, Red Bull Advanced Technologies developed the "aeroscreen".[10] The design, which was similar to a small fairing, did not receive much interest from the FIA. After the drivers had expressed their opposition to the introduction of the halo system, the FIA developed the "shield", a polyvinyl chloride windscreen based on the airbrush concept.[11] In 2019 the aeroscreen was adapted to use the halo as a structural frame for use in IndyCar.[10]

Sebastian Vettel was the first and only driver to try the shield in a Formula 1 car. During the free practice for the 2017 British Grand Prix, he completed a lap with the new system before ending the test early. He complained of distorted and blurred vision that prevented him from driving.[12] Its introduction was subsequently excluded, as there was no guarantee that the issues with the shield could be solved in time for the 2018 season.[13]


The system has aroused some criticism, including that of Niki Lauda, who claimed that this system distorts the "essence of racing cars".[14] The system was also initially unpopular with fans, with some saying that it is visually unappealing, against the concept of open-cockpit racing, and obstructs the driver's vision.[15] Other former drivers, including Jackie Stewart, welcomed the system and compared it to the introduction of seat belts, which had been similarly criticised, but then became the norm also on road cars.[16]

Despite initial criticism, the halo was praised by the community following two incidents where the halo was struck by another car--one in the Formula 2 race at Spain, where Tadasuke Makino's halo was landed on by fellow countryman Nirei Fukuzumi's car, and one in the Belgian Grand Prix, where Charles Leclerc's halo was struck by Fernando Alonso's airborne McLaren, with both of their haloes showing visible damage from the impact. Both Makino and Leclerc credited the halo for possibly saving their lives, and Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff, who had criticised the halo earlier in the season, admitted that it had proved itself following Leclerc's incident.[17][18]

The halo was credited with saving the life of Alex Peroni after his vehicle became airborne and crashed during a Formula 3 event at Monza on 7 September 2019.[19] It also played a critical role in protecting Romain Grosjean at the 2020 Bahrain Grand Prix where, after hitting Daniil Kvyat's car, he crashed into the barriers head-on. The car split the crash barrier, allowing the car to slip through in between and splitting off the back of the car from the safety cell. The halo hit the upper section of the barrier, protecting Grosjean's head from the impact. In a similar accident at the 1974 United States Grand Prix, driver Helmuth Koinigg was decapitated. Despite initial concern over drivers' ability to evacuate quickly being impaired by the halo, Grosjean was able to climb out almost immediately, which was critical as the car started burning instantly. He emerged from the flames, with burns on his hands and ankles, and non-life threatening injuries.[20] "I wasn't for the halo some years ago, but I think it's the greatest thing that we've brought to Formula 1, and without it I wouldn't be able to speak with you today," Grosjean said from his hospital bed afterward.[21]


  1. ^ "The FIA approves Formula 1's first supplier to the Halo". F1i.com. 16 January 2018. Archived from the original on 29 March 2018. Retrieved 2018.
  2. ^ "Halo strong enough to hold a bus, say Mercedes". www.formula1.com. Retrieved 2020.
  3. ^ "How to Make an F1 Halo". fia.com. 3 March 2018. Archived from the original on 22 October 2018. Retrieved 2018.
  4. ^ Richards, Giles (22 July 2017). "FIA defends decision to enforce F1 halo cockpit protection device for 2018". The Observer. ISSN 0029-7712. Retrieved 2020.
  5. ^ "Presenting the facts behind Halo" (video). Federation Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA). 2 August 2017. Archived from the original on 6 September 2017. Retrieved 2020.
  6. ^ "Formula 2 unveils 2018 car with Halo". www.motorsport.com. Retrieved 2020.
  7. ^ "Formula E reveals second-generation car". www.motorsport.com. Retrieved 2020.
  8. ^ "FIA Formula 3 car unveiled in Abu Dhabi". Federation Internationale de l'Automobile. 22 November 2018. Archived from the original on 2 June 2020. Retrieved 2020.
  9. ^ Pruett, Marshall (7 October 2020). "Revamped Indy Lights to return in 2021". Racer. Retrieved 2021.
  10. ^ a b "IndyCar Red Bull aeroscreen use could give it new F1 chance". autosport.com. Retrieved 2020.
  11. ^ "FIA working on Halo alternative 'Shield'". FormulaPassion.it (in Italian). 8 April 2017. Archived from the original on 21 May 2018. Retrieved 2018.
  12. ^ "Vettel says Shield made him "dizzy" in test run". Motorsport.com. Archived from the original on 21 May 2018. Retrieved 2018.
  13. ^ Loewenberg, Gabriel. "Formula One Opts for the Halo Over the Shield for 2018". The Drive. Retrieved 2020.
  14. ^ Noble, Jonathan. "Niki Lauda: Halo destroys efforts to boost Formula 1's popularity". Autosport.com. Archived from the original on 18 February 2018. Retrieved 2018.
  15. ^ Williams, Richard (19 March 2018). "Halo could be most effective method yet devised to reduce F1's appeal". The Guardian. Retrieved 2020.
  16. ^ Kalinauckas, Alex. "Jackie Stewart: F1 halo critics are like 1960s safety backlash". Autosport.com. Archived from the original on 21 May 2018. Retrieved 2018.
  17. ^ Benyon, Jack. "Makino believes halo saved his life in F2 crash". Motorsport.com. Retrieved 2018.
  18. ^ Richards, Giles. "Charles Leclerc pays tribute to halo after walking away from Belgian GP crash". The Guardian. Retrieved 2018.
  19. ^ Maher, Thomas (7 September 2019). "Gasly: Peroni crash has changed my mind on Halo". FormulaSpy. Retrieved 2020.
  20. ^ Richards, Giles (29 November 2020). "Romain Grosjean's 'life saved' by halo after remarkable escape at Bahrain GP". The Guardian. Retrieved 2020.
  21. ^ "Haas F1 Team on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 2020.

External links

Preceded by
Frédéric Sausset

Succeeded by
W Series

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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