The Halo device which is being implemented on Formula One cars in 2018 must be strong enough to withstand the weight of a London double-decker bus, according to Mercedes.
This year's cars include one of the most significant regulation changes in recent F1 history, with the cockpit protection device being placed above the head of each driver. The new piece of kit has been a big challenge for teams to implement this year as it adds extra weight to the body of the car while giving minimal opportunities for aerodynamic gains.
In a video released by the world champions, technical chief James Allison has explained the task the grid's 10 teams have undertaken.
"This is not a light piece of work, it is several kilos of titanium that needs to be put in the car," he said. "There are changes that we needed to do to accommodate it to ensure the overall car would still stay below the weight limit.
"It's also not light because it takes really high loads. We had to strengthen the design of the chassis so it would be able to take roughly the weight of a London double decker bus sitting on top of the halo.
"We needed to make sure it would be strong enough to withstand the type of event it was designed to protect the driver against."
Take a double-decker bus. Balance it on top of a 7kg metal frame. Then bolt that to a 300km/h racing car
Those are the kind of numbers the 2018 @F1 chassis has to be able to stand up to... 💪
So, what else do we know about the Halo so far? James Allison explains all 👇 pic.twitter.com/gtNHbw7SIV
— Mercedes-AMG F1 (@MercedesAMGF1) February 7, 2018
While much of the criticism of the Halo has centred around the ugly look of the prototypes tested in 2016 and 2017, Allison believes this will improve with time.
"This is the first generation head protection that goes up, over and around the driver's head. But it won't be the last. Nothing in F1 stands still for long. We will all be taking this first go and trying to improve it, trying to make sure the safety gets better but also the aesthetics.
"It's bit of an acquired taste and we're still acquiring it and everyone else too but I'm sure there are things we can do in coming seasons to make it also look nicer.
"The imperative to look after the driver safety and our desire to give us cars that are going to set the pulse racing aesthetically will see us continue to develop this concept in the seasons to come."