Sainz calls for vote on Halo


Despite being given a presentation, which included graphic images and details, and which is understood to have convinced several drivers who were previously undecided, just days later it was the controversial Strategy Group which opted not to push ahead with plans to introduce the Halo device in 2017.

Not for the first time, it is team bosses, together with the FIA and the commercial rights holder, who have ruled on factors that apply mainly to the men in the cockpit.

Ecclestone has made no secret of his feeling that the Halo, as well as being aesthetically unappealing, further dilutes the raw excitement of F1, the sport's supremo still reeling from the sound (or lack of it) of the new formula.

On the other hand, Red Bull's Christian Horner has called for more testing to be done, insisting that the decision cannot be based on a couple laps from just two or three drivers.

Carlos Sainz, who looks likely to be spending a third season with Toro Rosso in 2017, believes that every driver should have the opportunity to try the device and that a formal vote should be held.

"This is the most common sense thing to do," said the Spaniard, according to, "even though in the end they probably won't take into consideration our vote."

In terms of the decision to postpone the introduction of the Halo to 2018 - though no date was actually given - Sainz believes the Halo should have been introduced as an interim solution in 2017.

"Everyone took a decision to have a protection device in 2018, that doesn't mean it will be a Halo, it means all the teams and FIA will work to provide a safety component for 2018. But it probably means in 2017 we have nothing in the car, which opens the question of what happens if something happens in 2017.

"I think Halo could have been a solution for one year before they come up with something more advanced. But it's clear for 2017 they cannot bring this.

"They want to bring it for '18, but if something happens in '17, you look back and say 'ah, maybe we should have left the Halo on for one year', before bringing on the nice-looking super-safe aspect for 2018 that they have promised.

"It's a question mark we all have, hopefully it will not be like that and nothing will happen."

Grand Prix Drivers' Association chairman Alex Wurz admitted surprised at the U-turn. "They presented this, the halo solution, as a workable solution for head protection," he told Sky Sports F1 at Hockenheim last month. "And in their opinion it is a better option than anything we have at the moment, and this is how it was presented to the drivers just a week ago.

"So I'm surprised by this U-turn, to go away from what experts recommend, when it is already in the design process of the new regulations, and now step away and delay by one year. I'm surprised by that.

"We can debate the aesthetics," he insisted, "I don't think it is very aesthetic.

"People want to see emotions, heroes, people spinning, making mistakes, they can crash yes, it's part of the emotion. But if the safety experts say 'we can save a life' I think it takes nothing away in terms of courage.

"If you go through Eau Rouge at 320 (km/h), you don't think 'I have this halo thing above me and therefore I do it flat', because the impact hurts anyway."

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Published: 14/08/2016
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