Ex-Formula 1 Driver Stefan Johansson Tests Virtual F1 Car With New Halo Device

This is what Formula 1's Albert Park Circuit in Melbourne will look like through the new Halo device.

YOUTUBE/CXC SIMULATIONS

The Formula 1 grid will be setting scorching-fast lap times around Melbourne's Albert Park Circuit this weekend, as the season-opening race weekend finally gets underway after controversial pre-season tests. But, unlike in years past, regardless of what team they race for, all Formula 1 drivers will have to deal with one major change. Of course, we're referring to the Halo safety device.

In order to understand what the world's best racing drivers will be seeing this weekend, we'd like to recall this video created by the folks at CXC Simulations. The nearly four-minute-long footage is hosted by former Ferrari Formula 1 driver Steffan Johansson, who narrates his experience around Albert Park Circuit while at the wheel of a virtual Ferrari SF71H. Of course, Johansson spends the majority of his time explaining how the Halo could affect a racing driver's view and performance over the course of the race, and he shares his opinion on whether the Halo will even cause much of a stir or not.

The veteran racer goes on to explain that the new frontal view is very similar to that of an LMP1 prototype, with the exception that the Halo's large cutout for driver entry and exit allows more light into the cabin. "The sightline is very, very similar," said Johansson. "The post in the middle doesn't seem to be so bothersome because you're always looking at a bit of an angle anyway."

The simulator that Johansson is piloting is the Motion Pro II, which starts at $49,000 and features Oculus Rift integration for an even more realistic driving experience. A CXC spokesperson told The Drive that Johansson put about 20 laps on the simulator behind the wheel of a Halo-equipped F1 car, but that he has done "an enormous number of laps over the years in his role as one of CXC's development drivers."