Red Bull Formula 1 chief Christian Horner believes the introduction of the ‘Halo’ cockpit protection device for the 2018 season is “a shame”, but understands the FIA’s reasons for doing so.
The FIA confirmed ahead of the Hungarian Grand Prix that the F1 Strategy Group had approved the Halo’s introduction for 2018, marking a first step for the sport in its bid to improve cockpit safety standards.
The move has split opinion throughout racing, with Horner expressing his regret over its introduction, particularly given the added weight and its appearance.
“I think the FIA have made the decision, and I understand the reasons they felt compelled to make it, but personally, I don’t like the Halo,” Horner said.
“I think it moves away from open-cockpit racing, which Formula 1 has been.
“There are obviously challenges with it. It is quite heavy.
“We have been given an extra five kilos of weight allowance to implement it, but it’s not very pretty.
“It’s a shame it’s on a grand prix car for next year.”
Red Bull F1 driver Daniel Ricciardo shared Horner’s uncertainty about the Halo, admitting he is concerned by the negative reaction from fans.
“I was in favor of head protection. Do I think the Halo is the best thing? I’m not convinced,” Ricciardo said.
“It’s difficult. All I’ve heard so far from fans is negative comments so that worries me. I know we are the ones in the car and our safety is important.
“But at the same time – obviously it won’t happen – but if every fan suddenly walked away from Formula 1 there wouldn’t be any F1 probably.
“I’m surprised they pulled the trigger on it because not everyone was in favor of it.”