FIA President Todt Supports Idea of Halo 'Yellow Jersey'
The concept dictates that the championship points leader would have a uniquely colored Halo safety device from the rest of the field.
Formula One and FIA officials had a lengthy debate regarding the implementation of the Halo cockpit safety equipment, ultimately deciding on 'yes' even though 9 of 10 teams voted against the device. Some feel that it needs to be further developed before being made mandatory for the 2018 season, and others believe that it could ruin the cars' aesthetics, therefore turning fans away or downgrading the series' appeal. To combat these arguments, FIA president Jean Todt has been taking suggestions as to how they can improve the Halo's acceptance, and one idea is that of a 'yellow jersey' approach.
The new concept would allow the Drivers' Championship leader to have a unique Halo device from the rest, separating it from the field and displaying their position in title standings. Todt noted that he has "heard some clever ideas" and that this is one he quite likes.
"...we should give a different color of halo to the leader of the world championship," he told Autosport. "I want to see the name and the number of the cars, which we cannot see. So maybe it will be one opportunity to give that - even if I hear already that teams have sold the space to sponsors. So lucky them!"
This would help viewers quickly recognize the series points leader while giving drivers a type of "crown" that perhaps adds to the prestige of becoming champion. It's a similar tactic that's used in cycle racing where leaders are awarded a unique uniform, with the Tour de France most notably using a yellow jersey.
When responding to negative comments about the Halo ruling for next season, Todt frankly replied "Honestly, I don't care." He continued by mentioning, "I do care if something will happen and I will realise that we didn't do something that we could do.
"If you see all the last severe crashes in single-seater racing, they have been around the head."
The latter statement is something that's been noted by drivers such as Ferrari ace Sebastian Vettel and McLaren's Fernando Alonso. They each pointed out IndyCar and F1 driver Justin Wilson's accident that cost him his life, further supporting that any type of protection is better than none. Vettel threw in that F1 would be "ignorant and stupid" not to mandate the equipment for 2018.
Todt reiterated that the FIA keeps safety as a peak priority, and the motorsport governing body seeks to prevent accidents or injuries before they happen.
"I am sure that other bad incidents will happen, and we need to have a vision to do something beforehand."