Race Car News #Update
After the 2017 season race was concluded, Formula one announced that it would require all cars for the 2018 season to have a halo head protection device on-board. The reason for this cockpit protection came as a result of sudden misfortunes that hit the Formula one drivers, leading to their deaths.
Ever since, Cockpit protection has become a priority to prevent drivers from being hit by wheels and flying debris, hence leading to death or fatal injuries. In the 2014 Japanese Grand Prix, Jules Bianchi died in a crash with a recovery truck when his car slipped underneath, leaving his head vulnerable in the impact. In 2009, a loose debris injured Felipe Massa during qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix.
Haas F1 has become the first to show the results of the new safety requirement on its VF-18 race car. Visually, the VF-18 boasts the halo cockpit protection system, a considerably smaller shark fin and a livery that honors Gene Haas’ very first Haas Automation CNC machine – gray with tones of red and black.
According to the team principal Guenther Steiner, he affirmed that the VF-18 is “an evolution of our car from last year. It’s less about reinvention and more about refinement. You see elements we had from last year on the car this year.”
“The biggest part of the car’s evolution was the addition of the halo. It took quite a bit of study by the aerodynamicists, but the designers had to work hard to modify the chassis so the halo could survive the mandated loads. The total minimum weight of the car increased because of the halo, and there’s a higher center of gravity simply because of the halo’s position. But everyone is in the same boat.” Steiner added.
The VF-18 will make its circuit debut in Barcelona between February 26 – March 1, and then again March 6-9, prior to the season-opening race in Melbourne, Australia, March 25.