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2018 F1

‘London double decker bus sitting on top of Halo’ – James Allison

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Formula 1’s new head-protection device ‘Halo’ can “take the weight of a London double-decker bus sitting on top”, says Mercedes F1 Team Technical Director James Allison.

This season all Formula 1 cars will be race with Halo device following the FIA ruled it mandatory. It is designed to guard drivers from flying debris and other interruptions.

“Adopting it has been a significant challenge,” Allison admitted.

“This is not a light piece of work, it is several kilos of titanium that needs to be put in the car and all the changes that we needed to do to accommodate made so that the overall car would still stay below the weight limit.

“This is also not light because it takes really, really high loads.

“We had to strengthen the design of the chassis so it would be able to take roughly the weight of a London double decker bus sitting on top of this Halo to make sure it would be strong enough to withstand the type of event it was designed to protect the driver’s head against.”

Allison also spoke of the “significant aerodynamic challenge” that Halo characterizes given that it is a standard part.

“This unadorned round tube is quite bad aerodynamically so we’re all permitted to modify the halo in a way which will be individual for each team.

“We’re permitted to fit an aerodynamic fairing around it, which gives us a certain amount of scope to mitigate the effect it has on the aerodynamics of the car.

“And what we’re aiming to do is ensure the wake of this Halo does not affect the smooth running and performance of the engine so we make sure the wake of the Halo does not get ingested by the engine. We also make sure it is designed so that it doesn’t damage the behavior of the rear wing.”

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