Formula One saw the first glimpse of the new ‘Halo’ head protection concept, as Ferrari opted to run a similar design on their car for part of the third day of pre-season testing in Barcelona.
The design looked rather unimpressive and was only fitted to the car for two laps before it was removed. The purpose for testing the concept was to see whether the device would hinder the drivers’ visibility. No data was collected from the device, aside from driver comments.
Kimi Räikkönen was behind the wheel of the car for the day of testing, including when the device was installed on the car. This was the track debut of the new device which is expected to be implemented to the cars as early as 2017. The concept was developed by Mercedes, but Ferrari ran their own slightly modified version of the device.
“This morning I tried the Halo protection device and the difference to the usual driving was surprisingly small,” Räikkönen commented after the test. “The visibility is just a little bit limited at the front but I don’t think this is the final version of the device, so it can be improved further.”
Of course, the design that was run on the car today is not what the final produce will look like. It is believed that the actual device will be part of the car and not removable. It’s still has not been confirmed which head protection concept will be going forward, although it has been announced that the governing body of Formula One would like to add this safety feature as soon as 2017.