F1 Halo Introduction Could Delay Force India’s 2018 Car
The team is one of nine teams that said “no” to the safety equipment.
A majority of F1 teams voted against introducing the Halo cockpit safety device for 2018 -- nine out of ten said "no". But as the ruling was effectively passed, it's time for teams to start development for next season's machines which include incorporation of the Halo equipment. While some have remained quiet about the decision, others have not been so timid, Force India included. Recent news from chief operating officer Otmar Szafnauer says that the "rushed" decision could put them behind for next season, delaying the team's car.
Since the equipment must be worked into the monocoque's design, the car's structure must be retooled to fit in the new device. This is a major setback for the team according to Szafnauer, as he told Motorsport.com.
"It may delay next year’s car,” Szafnauer said. “There’s a finite amount of time to design and build a monocoque. There is a finite amount of time that it takes to design and make a monocoque, and if we don’t get definition in that timeframe, all it does is it delays when it’s produced."
He even went as far to say the team would be "screwed" if they couldn't get things together in time.
“Right now, it looks like we may not be able to produce it in time for testing.”
Szafnauer brought up the point that the Halo should not have been pushed so swiftly, claiming it would be safer to develop it further before implementing it in next season's cars. That is a popular opinion, though others like Ferrari ace Sebastian Vettel said it would be "ignorant and stupid" not to introduce the equipment ASAP.
“It’s rushed,” he said. “It would have been nice to have had another year to do it properly. It is what it is. The only way to stop it is if the FIA stops it and says we’re going to do it in a year’s time. It’s safer to do it properly than to rush it, that’s the only way I can see stopping it.”