MARCH 18, 2016
Whiting plays down Red Bull's halo alternative
F1's governing body is determined to push ahead with the controversial 'halo' cockpit protection system.
That is despite not only the opposition of some drivers, but also the efforts of Red Bull to develop a more 'elegent' alternative to the Mercedes-devised concept that was given its debut by Ferrari over the winter.
"We are continuing to develop the halo system so that we can introduce it in 2017," F1 race director Charlie Whiting is quoted as saying by Speed Week in Melbourne.
Photos of Red Bull's alternative concept have come to light, depicting a transparent 'windscreen' rather than the halo's central element right in front of the drivers' view.
"There is a different approach from Red Bull," confirmed Whiting, "but the development is not as advanced. And we will not slow down on something that we believe is promising to wait for something else."
Lewis Hamilton, however, has said that if 'halo' is introduced, he will refuse to have one fitted to his car.
Whiting responded: "Wearing a helmet is not voluntary. HANS is not voluntary. So I can hardly imagine that we will make halo voluntary.
"In terms of safety, we will not compromise," said the FIA official.