Williams technical chief Paddy Lowe says the benefits of Halo far outweigh any criticisms about how the cockpit protection device looks on a Formula One car.
F1 has had the first glimpses of what the championship will look like with the controversial titanium structure above the head of the driver after car reveals by Haas and Williams. The look of the design has attracted the most negative attention Lowe thinks that distracts from what the Halo has been designed to achieve.
"It was very challenging," Lowe told ESPN. "The biggest challenge we faced over this winter was to design a chassis that could take the loads necessary on the Halo and do that with a minimum of weight. It's all in a good direction and positive for the safety of the sport. It's been, for me, the remaining major risk in the sport and one that hopefully we've largely closed off.
"The only objection we've had is one of aesthetics, which frankly has been a bit frustrating because when you see the risks we've faced - and I speak as a team with two young drivers - I'm very happy to see this device now in play. None of us would want to be in teams where there have been a casualty. I think this device will solve that problem. Therefore, while we may work in due course on the asthetic, I don't see there will be a great urgency to radically change what we have."
The forces involved with the Halo are remarkable -- Mercedes has revealed it must sustain the weight of a London bus to pass the FIA's mandatory crash tests, required for every car ahead of the season. Despite being framed largely as a device to deflect potentially lethal bits of debris away from a driver's head, Lowe thinks it has an even more significant role for the coming season and beyond
"The major objective with the Halo was to protect from the intrusion of very large, heavy objects. In particular flying cars. We've seen over the years many examples of cars landing on top of other cars, with near-misses intruding to the driver's head. The Halo is intended to take that force and protect the driver from those sort of events. We'll have to see how it forms, I think it will meet those objectives."