Wurz: Halo safety over looks

Date published: April 10 2016

Although Alex Wurz concedes that the halo design being proposed as cockpit protection for F1 is not beautiful, he says that does not matter as long as it can save lives.

As of next season Formula 1 will introduce cockpit protection, a decision that has been met with mixed reviews.

The halo design, trialed by Ferrari is pre-season testing, is the frontrunner however Red Bull are keen for the sport to rather adopt their canopy design.

And although Wurz, the chairman of the Grand Prix Drivers' Association, acknowledges that the halo is not the prettiest of the two, he feels it is the one that will be most effective.

"Ask me 'Is the halo beautiful?' No. Ask me 'Is the function the correct one to implement?' Yes, and most of the drivers say the same," he told Autosport.

"At least when they voted for it, that something has to happen in this direction, it was a 100 per cent vote.

"And again, I'm speaking about the function, not its beauty. It's debatable as to what is beautiful and what isn't.

"With the halo or any head protection, if you are the unlucky one and an object is coming at you out of the sky, then we just want that person to have a high chance of survival.

"It will not take away any courage or skill, such as going through Eau Rouge at 320km/h."

The former driver added: "It's about function first.

"It's very implementable, and now we have the function the designers will make it look more beautiful or come up with a different-looking design.

"I'm sure it won't be the final one [version]. There will be upgrades.

"In two or three years it may be even better looking, and maybe in four years' time we will all say 'Wow! This is a stark improvement'."

As for the Red Bull cockpit, Wurz says it looks better than the halo but the design has yet to be fully functional.

"It's trying to do what the halo is trying to achieve, which is increase safety for the drivers," he said.

"The Red Bull design is obviously trying to make it look a little better than the halo. Some like it more, some like it less.

"The Red Bull version at least visualises something they had in mind, and does not yet calculate it with the structures, and the function it needs to have."