The Halo Already Saved A Driver's Head

Gif: Autosport (YouTube)

The introduction of Formula One’s new halo cockpit design was extremely controversial, despite the drivers slowly warming up to having the new protection. Aesthetics be damned, the new halo has already probably saved at least one driver during a Formula 2 race last weekend.

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The video below from Autosport on YouTube shows just how close the rear wheel of Nirei Fukuzumi’s car came to crashing down on top of Tadasuke Makino’s head during the race, which was only blocked by the new halo cockpit design.

Following the race, Makino commented to Motorsport.com that he believes the halo saved his life. Here’s more from Motorsport:

When asked if the halo had saved his life, Russian Time driver Makino told Motorsport.com: “I think so, yeah.

“The first time I tested this car I didn’t think the halo was good, because it’s difficult to see anything, but today the halo helped me. It’s really important.

“I understand how the halo works now. I don’t know what happened, but without the halo I think the tyre would have hit my helmet. It was a big surprise for me, the halo was a big help for me.”

The most publicized controversy over the halo came from F1, which mandated the new cockpit for the 2018 season. It may block the onboard cameras, and it kind of looks like ass, but the drivers seem to be warming up to it and the crash involving Makino only proves that the improved safety is more than worth the compromised aesthetics.

Reviews Editor, Jalopnik

DISCUSSION

If the whole point of the design of F1 cars is to make them as aerodynamic as possible, why isn’t the driver completely enclosed? Isn’t there a lot of air buffeting around their heads? Also, completely enclosing the driver cockpit in a hinged Lexan cover or whatever would make it easier to see out of, make the car more aerodynamic, and would protect the driver.

More to the point of aerodynamics, why are they still open-wheel cars? Doesn’t that create a lot of buffeting and drag?