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FIA trialling further development on Halo before roll-out

George Russell (Mercedes) testing a new version of the Halo cockpit protection device at the Hungaroring - August 2 2017.
© XPB 

The Halo cockpit protection system that will be mandatory for Formula 1 cars in 2018 might look quite different to the one previously evaluated.

A revised Halo was being tested this week at the Hungaroring. The new prototype, fitted to George Russell's Mercedes on Wednesday, has a narrower central support strut.

Drivers had raised concern about the impact on forward visibility of the original design

"The central strut is currently 20mm," FIA safety director Laurent Mekies told Motorsport.com. "We feel that we have scope to reduce that thickness for the benefit of the drivers' forward vision.

"We will be testing before next year, going as low as 16mm, and see how much we can push it."

Now that the decision has been made to make the Halo compulsory next season, teams are working on how to incorporate it aerodynamically.

The device will have a big impact in how the air flow goes into the airbox behind the cockpit. Teams will be able to add their own fairings to the Halo to optimise the effect.

That will also change the look of the Halo, which has been criticised by some drivers, fans and pundits as 'plain ugly'.

FIA race director Charlie Whiting said last week that the teams will find ways to making the Halo look more appealing.

"I'm sure that they will look more pleasing to the eyes," he said. "Teams haven't explored the full range of possibility to make them look a little more pleasing to the eye."

The FIA has given permission for teams to conduct further tests of the Halo during the remainder of the season.

"We've told some teams that have asked that they can use them during P1 and P2," said Whiting. "And during in-season tests ... Not tyre tests, but for example the two-day test here.

"We said they could use them at this test, the test after Abu Dhabi, and in free practice sessions on the first day at any event, as most of them did last year."

 
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