Acceptance of the halo

It might be ungainly, but fuss is fading

For all the furore, it was inevitable that the world would accept the halo pretty quickly. That’s because it’s human nature to stop complaining about the norm and, perhaps more pertinently, because it would be seen to be doing the job for which it was designed.

Formula 2 racer Tadasuke Makino, a Honda development driver, has credited the halo with saving his life after another car landed on top of him during the sprint race at Barcelona in May. It was the first incidence of this ungainly device doing its job.

The accident, which involved fellow Japanese driver Nirei Fukuzumi, happened far away from the gaze of the casual F1 fan. But are the millions watching Grands Prix on TV really still bleating about the halo? Probably not.

The look of racing cars has always evolved. New developments are so often regarded with distaste, only to become part of the scenery while the complaints are quietly forgotten.

Wings ruined the simple lines of the cigar-tube F1 cars at the end of the ’60s. The narrow-track machinery, running on treaded tyres from 1998, was ungainly. And what about the massive dorsal fins, again another safety development, on modern LMP prototypes introduced in 2011?

The objections died away pretty quickly. And all complaints about the halo will stop the moment it’s seen to do its job in a major F1 shunt.