Formula 1


Jean Todt hits back at criticism of the introduction of the halo in Formula 1

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Motorsport boss Jean Todt has called out criticisms against new safety measures to be implemented in Formula 1 from this season.

The introduction of the Halo head protection device has split opinion with Mercedes boss Toto Wolff even claiming he would like to take a chainsaw to the safety feature.

However, Todt, president of governing body the FIA, has reiterated it has been introduced to save lives and at the request of drivers' body the Grand Prix Drivers' Association.

"I am amazed to hear some people say: 'OK, motor racing is dangerous, if it happens, it happens'," Todt said, per BBC Sport.

"Can you imagine how we would all feel if something happened and if we would have had the halo it would not have happened?

"If we are able to find something better, I am sure we will be able to over the years.

"Honestly, I am not disturbed with what I see. I read somewhere we do not see who is driving. We have been complaining for years that we do not see who is driving the car; we don't see the name. You need to be a big expert. For me it could be a facilitator to know who is driving the car."

In response to Wolff's chainsaw comments, Todt tried to play down his criticism.

F1 Grand Prix of Malaysia - Practice

He added: "I will not react. It is a childish game. It's very inappropriate, whoever you are, to publicly deny something which is introduced."

The introduction of the Halo system this season follows years of research into full frontal head protection which began after two incidents in 2009.

Henry Surtees, son of former world champion John, was tragically killed by a loose wheel during a Formula 2 race and just over a week later Felipe Massa was hit in the head by a loose spring during practice for the Hungarian Grand Prix.


The device has the support of the majority of drivers, who you would think are the primary concern in the argument. Speaking to BBC Sport last month reigning world champion Lewis Hamilton addressed concerns about the Halo device on the new Mercedes car: 

"Honestly, the team have done great job to integrate it and make it look as nice as it can look. we have known for some time it was coming and I think after a few races we will forget it is even there.

"You often look at the old cars and think it's dated. This is the new world right now and I'm sure it is only the first step of development."

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