Formula One will introduce the ‘halo' cockpit protection system from next year, the sport's governing body, the FIA, said on Wednesday. The FIA said in a statement that it had tested a large number devices over the past five years and it had "become clear that the halo presents the best overall safety performance". The decision to implement the ‘halo' comes less than a week after a transparent cockpit ‘shield' was tested for the first time on track at Silverstone last Friday in British Grand Prix practice. Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel said the transparent open canopy made him feel dizzy. Cockpit protection has become a priority since the deaths of drivers in other series after being hit by wheels and flying debris.
The ‘halo', which is fixed at three points including a central pillar in front of the driver that supports a protective loop above his head, was extensively tested last season with a mixed response. The appearance of the device also drew criticism. The FIA said in January the net safety benefit had been established but a decision needed to be made about the aesthetics and whether such a system was right for Formula One. The FIA said in Wednesday's statement that certain features of the halo's design would be further enhanced with the support of the teams.