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Halo's a good thing, and its appearance is irrelevant

Formula 1's Halo device is being criticised for being ugly. Here's why that's madness

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The general consensus on Formula 1’s new Halo device seems to be that it’s a bad thing. Ugly, offensive and unwelcome. No matter how hard I try, though, I simply cannot get my head around why.

When the motive of halo is to protect our heroes – stop them from suffering head injuries, or dying – why on earth is its appearance relevant? Why do we care that it’s not as smoothly integrated as it could be, when its purpose is far, far more important?

Even if you are a dedicated aesthete, it’s not like F1 cars are particularly pretty these days anyway. They’ve been sprouting ungainly aero elements for years, and I struggle to see why the protective halo is more offensive than any of these. And surely better integration will come in time.

“We can’t see the drivers” is another argument. Sure, but helmets have stopped us seeing their faces for years. Perhaps they’d have been greeted with similar scorn if social media was around on their arrival. And are viewers really focusing on drivers’ helmet designs as they blitz around a circuit? Their cars’ liveries ought to be useful enough in working out who’s who.

Halo – or something like it – may or may not have help saved Jules Bianchi’s life, but his death is still recent, and very raw. It means we know only too well the anguish that death in F1 brings. The bravado and excitement that the sport’s inherent dangers bring count for nought when there’s a driver to mourn.

Yet a device designed to minimise the chances of us having to mourn any of the sport’s current drivers is being maligned simply for not being as good to look at as it could be. Am I alone in seeing that as completely mad?

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