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Schmidt's F1 blog: Get rid of the Halo cockpit protection

Schmidt's F1 blog for the season opener in Australia
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I I'm happy to give it zu: The halo was a no-go for me from day one. And he still is. I may feel a little self-conscious about it, but I am not alone in my opinion. In the paddock and outside. And the club of opponents of Halo keeps growing. Meanwhile, the former Halo advocates Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel are also included. And because the criticism does not want to stop, FIA President Jean Todt tries to justify himself louder and louder. It would have been the drivers who would have begged for that halo. And now they're stabbing him in the back. Todt feels betrayed.

There has been a lot of discussion about the benefits of the unpopular cockpit protection. One fact cannot be dismissed out of hand. Of the 47 safety features that the world association has introduced since 1975 for the benefit of sport, the halo is the first that does not offer better protection in all accident scenarios. There are constellations in which the shot can backfire. For example, when a smaller projectile is deflected by the titanium bow onto the pilot's body. Or if part of one vehicle gets caught in the halo of the other in a collision. And again: If the FIA ​​wants to save every life, it can only be done with a drastic speed limit. That alone safely covers all types of accidents.

Halo robs formula cars of the DNA

In view of this ambiguous cost /benefit calculation, other things must also be considered. For example, what damage the sport takes if one stubbornly insists on the halo. It is undisputed that the titanium bar above the driver's head robs the formula cars of their DNA. Because the halo looks like a cheap makeshift from the last century that was accidentally screwed onto a high-tech machine. No matter from which angle you look at the cars: they look disfigured. No longer like the ultimate driving machine we once adored.

Ross Brawn isn't a fan of the Halo either. He told me last year that we had to accept the flip-flop over the cockpit with a heavy heart and make the best of it. No, dear Ross: I cannot and will not accept the halo. And I bet millions of fans don't either. You don't have to speak well about bad things. You don't get any better because of it. I'm going to the reactions after the first oneTraining day of the new season excited. Now everyone has seen the proportions of the halo on the television screen. The Halo will cost the premier class of motorsport many spectators. And that at a time when the model ship of motorsport sails in heavy seas anyway.

Cheating on the spectator

Have the first pictures of the cars from the outside and from the cockpit - Seen perspective? I bet you have. Did you also have to look three times to see if there was a driver in there at all? And what helmet is he wearing? The two cockpit cameras don't exactly make you want to do motorsport either. The one on the airbox always has the titanium lifebuoy in full view. The only thing missing is that it is painted red and white. It looks like a railing to carry away. The deep camera position from the cockpit is even worse. We see that we don't see anything. “You can leave out the camera setting right away. Because it hides half of what would actually be exciting, ”rumbles Sky expert Martin Brundle.

RTL commentator Christian Danner speaks of“ cheating on viewers ”. Because the halo hides the stars of the scene and what they do. “All the surveys have shown that the fans are mainly interested in the drivers. And they are now no longer identifiable. ”Some people will demand that you move the cameras to another location. I tell them: it won't do any good. Any camera that is supposed to capture the pilot's perspective to some extent will have that damn bracket in the picture. A camera on the halo spar would provide boring images. The driver's helmet facing backwards without reference to the route. The nose of the car forwards without the driver's helmet.

If you then look at the images from the new IndyCar on-board camera, you believe that you are really sitting in the racing car with the driver. I call that a good show. The IndyCars still drive without cockpit protection, and one can only pray that they never introduce one. Even with the cockpit glazing that has already been tested, the new image perspective would be worthless. Formula 1 can be happy that the IndyCar series no longer has the status of the 80s and early 90s. Otherwise the US Formula 1 series would quickly overtake the rankings. Not just because of the halo. So, once again my request to the FIA ​​and the rights holders: Pull the emergency brake while it is still possible.


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