It was announced this afternoon that the Ferrari team will run the latest version of the Halo cockpit protection device during Friday practice for the Austrian Grand Prix this weekend.
Since first running an early prototype in pre-season testing, the FIA has been developing the concept to increase its strength and reduce weight. The most recent evolution features a titanium structure and will add roughly 10kg to the car’s weight but protect the driver from large flying objects.
The latest prototype built by Ferrari is expected to be fitted to Sebastian Vettel’s car for a brief one-lap run at the start of first practice.
Driver extrication tests with the modified Halo will also be held this weekend in Austria, but the FIA’s Laurent Mekies told the media in a statement last week that he did not envisage any major issues. Mekies said the following:-
‘We have obviously done extrication with the initial version of the Halo and it didn’t prove to be a problem, even with the current time [limit in the regulations]. We are saying that whatever problems you might find now, we should be able to resolve them between now and the season start, so it should not be a show-stopper right now.
‘Because the geometry has been evolving, when we get to the final geometry, hopefully in the next few weeks, we will start intensifying the work. But yes, we have done quite a lot of extrication tests already.’
Following the tests in Austria this week, the FIA will present the latest concept to the teams ahead of a final decision on its implementation by mid-August.