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Todt: Only F1 complains about the Halo

Written by  Mar 15, 2018

FIA president Jean Todt has criticised what could be considered the hypocrisy of Formula 1 over the introduction of Halo in 2018.

The controversial cockpit protection device was made mandatory for this season after the governing body forced it through on safety grounds last July and reactions to the new designs have been mixed.

However, Todt insists it was the drivers who instigated the push which ultimately led to Halo, following several high-profile deaths including Jules Bianchi, the first F1 driver to be killed by a crash since Ayrton Senna in 1994, and is disappointed at the lack of solidarity today.

“It is short memories," he told the official F1 website when asked about the negativity. “16 December 2015, I got a letter that was signed by [GPDA directors] Jenson Button, Sebastian Vettel and Alex Wurz, urging us to decide for head protection for the drivers and I said, ‘We are there, also to listen.’

“So immediately we asked the technical people as a priority to see what they could come out with."

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After years of testing several solutions, the Halo was determined the most suitable for a broad spectrum of scenarios but it is also considered the least good-looking and has led to some to claim it changes F1's DNA.

“I must say I am so surprised, and you know I love F1 but I hate this part of F1," the former Ferrari team boss stated.

"You have people who don’t [keep] their word. For me, we are talking about the biggest asset in life: loyalty and [keeping] a word and having respect for what you have been undertaking.

“So we have respected that [drivers request] and some have forgotten that, but that is where we are.

“For me, the Halo is no problem and I would have hoped we would have had more support from everybody – the fans, the media – for something which is for safety," he added. "I mean, I’m amazed to hear some people say, ‘OK motor racing has to be dangerous, if [the worst] happens, it happens'."

Todt concluded by claiming the response Halo has generated in F1 is not repeated in other series where the device will be used.

"We’re not only talking about F1. In Formula E I did not hear one complaint, incidentally. Everybody is happy and saying, ‘Look what we’re going to do about it.’ I didn’t hear any complaints in F2, I didn’t hear any complaints in F3.”

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