Formula 1 cars to use 'halo' protection device from 2018

Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel of Germany steers his car during the qualifying session for the British Formula One Grand Prix at the Silverstone racetrack in Silverstone, England, Saturday, July 15, 2017. The British Formula One Grand Prix will be held on Sunday, July 16. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

Motor sport's governing body says the "halo" cockpit protection system will be used on Formula One cars as from next year

PARIS — Motor sport's governing body says the "halo" cockpit protection system will be used on Formula One cars from next year onward.

The FIA has been looking at ways to improve cockpit protection and limit the risk of head injuries, after French F1 driver Jules Bianchi died in July 2015 and British IndyCar driver Justin Wilson died a month later.

The "halo" design forms a semi-circular barrier around the driver's head, protecting against flying debris without completely closing the cockpit. When first tested ahead of the 2016 season, drivers were divided as to whether they liked it with some criticizing it on aesthetic grounds.

Other safety devices were therefore considered.

A transparent open canopy system constructed using polycarbonate, known as the "shield," was tested by four-time F1 champion Sebastian Vettel during last weekend's British Grand Prix in Silverstone.

But Vettel, who has previously spoken in favor of the Halo, was critical and said it made him feel dizzy.

In a statement Wednesday, the FIA says the halo "presents the best overall safety performance."

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