As well as protecting drivers from flying objects, the Halo could also be used to differentiate drivers and maybe even the leader of the championship when it is introduced to Formula One next season.
The decision to implement Halo on the cars for the 2018 Formula One championship has been massively controversial and represents one of the most significant regulation changes in the history of the competition, which has always featured fully exposed cockpits. Much of the criticism of the Halo centres around its look, with the prototypes tested so far often uninspiring in a plain black colour, much different from how the final designs are expected to look.
French motor sport executive and FIA president Jean Todt recently said that Formula One can use the Halo in a similar way cycling’s Tour de France uses a yellow jersey to distinguish the overall leader from the rest of the pack: “I think there are some clever ideas. I heard one idea that I quite like, we should give a different colour of Halo to the leader of the world championship.” – Jean Todt said, when asked about how Formula 1 can make the Halo look better.
This year F1 has tweaked its regulations in order to ensure numbers and driver names are more visible on cars, something the former General Manager of Scuderia Ferrari thinks the Halo will enhance: “I want to see the name and the number of the cars, which we cannot see. So maybe it will be one opportunity to give that – even if I hear already that teams have sold the space to sponsors. So lucky them!”. When asked about the backlash against the Halo, the French motor sport executive explained that having an unattractive car should be considered a very small price to pay for ensuring the most important aspect of the competition, which is driver safety:
“Honestly, I don’t care. I do care if something will happen and I will realise that we did not do something that we could do. If you see all the last severe crashes in single-seater racing, they have been around the head. I am sure that other bad incidents will happen, and we need to have a vision to do something beforehand.” – FIA president Jean Todt added, as reported by Italian newspaper Tuttosport.
During his time as General Manager of Scuderia Ferrari (from 1994 to 2007) Jean Todt achieved his goal of reviving the Maranello team by winning victories with Michael Schumacher in five consecutive world championships (2000, 2001, 2002, 2003 and 2004), a first in the history of Formula One.