Halo cockpit protection system will be a disadvantage for the taller and heavier F1 drivers.
The FIA has increased the 2018’s car’s minimum weight limit by 6 kg to account for the Halo’s addition. But the teams had to put in extra work on the chassis and the mountings to make it stable enough to pass the push tests.
Force India claims that it had to take up to 14 kilos to make the Halo work as expected.
For some teams, the weight of their drivers may push the overall car’s weight over the minimum limits. This may force them to ask their drivers to take care of their body weight.
Body weight has raised a few issues in the past and had led a few drivers to question the move. But of late as FIA increased the car’s weight, it had not been a problem.
Nico Hulkenberg, one of the tallest drivers in the current F1 grid said: “We are aware of it, there is talk about it,”
“It’s a political matter, and the teams need to agree to change the weight, but some teams don’t want to, so it’s a bit of a situation.
“For me as a taller and heavier driver, it’s definitely going to be a bit of a penalty. The team have already told me there might be some overweight issues for me and asked me if I could go on a diet. The answer was no!”
Hulkenberg is not the only one with concern on this issue. Romain Grosjean may also face a similar problem. But the Frenchman suggested there could be an answer to the question in the future.
“My car is already very much on the limit if not overweight this year,” said the Haas driver. “If the Halo is really that heavy, it’s going to be a problem.
“I’ll have to lose a bone! Honestly, I’m underweight, and I would be heavier if I had the choice. There are proposals in the pipeline in the future to solve the problem.”
Talking about the new addition, Hulkenberg said he expects Halo will disappear soon: “I don’t think the Halo will survive long in F1, to be honest. I think people will realise it’s not that necessary.”
Force India found the addition of the device to be a massive task, the team’s technical director Andy Green admitted.
“It’s a huge challenge. It’s massive. It’s a big headache at the moment, trying to design a car that hits the weight limit and weight distribution target,” he said.
Green also believes that the Halo will not be able to withstand the load test.
“It’s a proof loading, it’s a slow application of the load. It will almost destroy the halo while it’s doing it. Is it a worry? Absolutely. It’s a worry for all the teams when they first do it. It’s a huge load. Huge.”