After Formula 1 announced it would require all cars for the 2018 season to have a halo head protection device on-board, we were all left wondering how they would look. Now, Haas F1 has become the first to show the results of the new safety requirement on its VF-18 race car, and we’re split in opinion. Some of us are ambivalent, while others find it rather unattractive.
We all think it’s less elegant than the windshield design being tested by IndyCar, and it lacks the ability to deflect debris. Haas F1 noted that this halo also adds more weight and raises the center of gravity. Of course, the racing team also points out that every team will be dealing with that issue. And while the halo may have drawbacks, a windshield has different drawbacks. It can get dirty, it doesn’t let air through to cool the driver, and the version F1 tested made F1 driver Sebastian Vettel dizzy on-track. Regardless of drawbacks both functional and aesthetic, we at Autoblog are unanimous in supporting the implementation of anything that will keep drivers safer.
If you aren’t a fan of the design, the good news is that, at least from the front, it’s almost invisible, since it blends into the black accents and the black seating area. Speaking of the livery, we find that to be quite attractive. It’s crisp and bold with the sharp contrast between the white, black and red hues, and it’s also simple and easy to read. One other noteworthy design change is that the vertical fin on the back of the car has been shortened. The VF-18 will compete in this year’s Formula 1 championship in which Haas, the only American racing team, will try to improve on its 8th-place finish in manufacturers’ points.
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