McLaren: Gains could be found through Halo

Date published: February 13 2018

Teams will have some scope, although it is limited, to gain a performance advantage with Halo; that’s according to McLaren’s chief of aerodynamics Peter Prodromou.

The cockpit protection device will be incorporated into the design of this year’s Formula 1 cars.

Although it is a standard part, Prodromou believes there is an opportunity with the bespoke carbon fibre fairing that cover the Halo.

“Aero wise it is certainly not penalty free and I think there is a challenge to either cope with it in the first instance, let’s call it damage limitation,” he said. “Thereafter I think it is about opportunity and exploitation.

“It does open up some avenues which are possibly interesting to look out.

“I am sure there will be a variety of different solutions out there but the scope is quite limited.

“We’ve got this allowance around the basic shape, but there is an opportunity there as an aerodynamicist.

“Everyone is going to be faced with how it impacts the flow into the engine and the flow into certain cooling ducts in that area, including ourselves, as well as the flow to the rear wing.

“On the flipside there may be opportunities to tap into which you couldn’t before.”

Prodromou, though, concedes that any gains will be short-lived as rivals teams catch up.

“The advantage is likely to be short-lived with the rest of the field catching up midway through the season,” he said.

“I’d probably give it half a season and I imagine everyone will have converged, that would be my rough guess.”