First F1 car revealed with new ‘Halo’ system
The Haas F1 Team has revealed its car for the 2018 Formula One World Championship, giving race fans the first glimpse of the 'Halo' head protection concept.
The VF-18 chassis was unveiled by the American outfit yesterday and it shows the carbon fibre ring that has been introduced as part of this season's regulations. It is designed to prevent large pieces of debris hitting the heads of the drivers in the event of an accident.
Despite potentially making the cars on the F1 grid much safer, some of the 2018 drivers have complained that the Halo will be a hindrance when driving at high speed as it could obscure certain parts of their view out of the cockpit.
When it was announced that the Halo would become part of the car's structure halfway through the 2017 season, both Haas drivers – Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen – spoke out against the device, with Danish driver Magnussen calling the solution "ugly".
On revealing the car via social media, Haas team principal Günther Steiner said: "The biggest part of the car's evolution was the addition of the Halo.
"It took quite a bit of study by the aerodynamicists, but the designers had to work hard to modify the chassis so the halo could survive the mandated weight loads. The total minimum weight of the car increased because of the halo, and there's a higher centre of gravity simply because of the halo's position. But, every team is in the same boat."
The main design change from the 2017 car compared to this year's chassis – other than the addition of the Halo – is the removal of the 'shark fin' panel on the engine covering, which was a popular design feature with teams last year.
The Ferrari-powered Haas will make its track debut during Formula One's winter testing sessions that start on February 26 at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona.