Mercedes-Benz Motorsport Exec Would ‘Take a Chainsaw’ to a Halo Safety Device

The Mercedes-AMG F1 boss says the Halo is aesthetically unpleasing and alters the center of gravity.

byJerry Perez|
Mercedes-Benz Motorsport Exec Would ‘Take a Chainsaw’ to a Halo Safety Device


Formula 1's newest driver safety device, the Halo, has ridden a wave of commotion from the moment it was approved by the FIA, until the recent car unveilings ahead of the first pre-season test in Barcelona, Spain. The latest comment surrounding the Halo came courtesy Toto Wolff, Executive Director and Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport, who didn't wait until the first race in Australia to share his lack of enthusiasm for the new device.

Wolff made the harsh comment in the company of the entire racing team, including drivers Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas, while at the Mercedes-AMG W09's world debut in Silverstone, according to Autosport. The former racer turned executive joins other members of the F1 fraternity who have shared their discontent with the expensive piece of scaffolding

"I'm not impressed with the whole thing," said Wolff. "If you give me a chainsaw, I would take it off."

Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 W09., Daimler AG

Wolff also zeroed in on the aesthetics of the Halo, which in turn, made him sound rather vain. 

"We need to look after the drivers' safety but what we have implemented is aesthetically not appealing. We need to tackle that and come up with a solution that looks better," Wolff told members of the media.

McLaren-Renault's Fernando Alonso responded to Wolff's harsh criticism of a device that's implemented for driver's safety by saying that, "there shouldn't be any debate" around a measure that's designed to protect the drivers. Perhaps an individual's position on the device will vary depending on whether they sit inside or outside the cockpit during a race.