Formula 1 Halo Could Cost as Much as a Small Car

The safety equipment will be mandatory for the 2018 F1 season.

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The Federation Internationale de l'Automobile recently finalized regulations regarding the 'Halo' safety device's place in the 2018 Formula 1 season, deeming it mandatory for all competitors. 

After being put to a vote with nine out of 10 teams against the ruling, the motorsport governing body still decided to mandate the equipment, despite potential cost and deadline concerns. Now, reports claim that there are three companies bidding to supply Formula 1 with the equipment, and prices have been quoted at approximately €13,000 to €24,000 (about $15,000 to $28,000 U.S. dollars), or about as much as a small car.

Gemany's Auto Motor und Sport reports that these three companies are vying to manufacture the 'Halo' for Formula One, Formula Two, and Formula E. The equipment, viewed as necessary by the FIA, will reinforce the car's cockpit and provide safety in case of a rollover or impact.

Many teams were skeptical about the supposed-early decision to make the safety devices mandatory for next year. Force India had expressed in the past that the Halo could make the team miss its deadlines for the 2018 car, and now, the seemingly high price for a 10 kg piece of titanium-blended material is tacking onto the team's frustrations.

"It will be expensive," added Force India technical boss Andy Green. "We not only have to order Halos for the cars, but also for the FIA load tests."

This announcement seems as if it's moving in the opposite direction that Formula One owner Liberty Media is looking to take as far as budgets go. The company's previously released statements claimed that it was looking into ways to cut costs for a more competitive grid, and while teams like Ferrari and Mercedes who have an allowance of nearly $400 million may not suffer from this, others like Sauber may have a hard time keeping up with these compounding expenses.

With new powerplant regulations set to come into play by 2021, a large portion of team spending could be slimmed down by making engines cheaper and simpler. This could help to offset the added cost of the new Halo equipment and make it easier for new teams to enter Formula One.