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Raising the Roof
Formula One Implementing a Halo of Change
Change seems to inevitable at the Formula 1 camp. Once a motorsport engulfed in danger and sex appeal, we now have corporate suits polluting the staging grid and now what looks to be a simple roof -- placed on top the race cars.
Yes it’s true, Formula 1 has adapted what they call a “Halo” which is simply is a glorified version of a roll bar, or what we prefer to call -- the “Sandle.”
But with such a simple addition to the vehicles, it’s no subtle change. In fact there were several weeks of testing with a fake, mock-up of the Halo attached to assess how it affects the aerodynamics and visibility in the cockpit and to make overall changes to the final rules and design.
Once those issues were solved, the real problem for teams became the safety rule FIA implemented, which mentions that not only does the Halo need to be a certain weight, but also each vehicle has to pass a structural load test, to ensure it is safely mounted to the chassis and the engineering correct for structural integrity.
With this, one can say the Halo is not a light matter any means. Literally. For example, team Mercedes designed theirs strong enough to hold up 12 tons – but it added nearly 15 pounds to the vehicle. In a mad rush, this addition is forcing teams to create designs, re-asses vehicle weight and aerodynamics before the season opens.
Overall, the Halo will be looked at as one of the most detrimental and visual change in Formula 1 history.
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