The recent reveal of 2018's F1 cars highlighted one massive change to each model – the addition of the much-maligned 'Halo' system. Taking the form of a ring above the driver's cockpit, the Halo aims to improve driver safety – protecting the vulnerable and squishy human inside the car from flying debris.
But the device has met with plenty of criticism, with viewers calling it ugly and drivers claiming it spoils their visibility, actually making them less safe on the track. But does it? The Mercedes F1 team (officially Mercedes-AMG Petronas) has released point-of-view footage taken by test driver Valtteri Bottas, showing what the driver actually sees.
See also: Guide to 2018's Formula One cars
The Halo certainly doesn't blend in, and remains in view through the whole video. Though the bar right down the spine of the car may look obtrusive to a layman, eye-tracking technology has shown that F1 drivers very rarely look straight ahead – preferring instead to look out to the sides, ahead of upcoming corners.
It's perhaps unsurprising that Mercedes is championing the Halo, as it was the company to propose it back in 2015. The system has proven very effective at neutralising the threat of cockpit intrusion from larger debris, such as stray tyres or other cars.
Teams do have some freedom when it comes to the Halo. Though the shape remains the same, individual teams can shroud them in. their own fairings, adding aerodynamics if necessary. They are also likely to provide valuable sponsorship space.
And for race fans, it's worth remembering that the Halo is in its infancy, and may well develop into something a little more attractive in future.