Halo could delay Force India’s 2018 car

Force India’s Otmar Szafnauer believes the “rushed” decision by the FIA to introduce Halo could jeopardise their plans for 2018.

The Halo cockpit safety device has divided opinion, mainly because of aesthetics, but it is also set to seriously impact the development of new cars for the 2018 season.

“It may delay next year’s car,” Szafnauer told Motorsport.com.

“There is a finite amount of time that it takes to design and make a monocoque, and if we don’t get definition in that timeframe, all it does is it delays when it’s produced.

“Right now, it looks like we may not be able to produce it in time for testing.”

Szafnauer revealed that a lot of time has already been dedicated to implementing a design that would not be in breach of the rules.

He added: “I remember designing and trying to make a roll-hoop that actually passed the test criteria. It took forever. We eventually did it, but a number of times we failed and redesigned.

“The nice thing with the roll-hoop was you could just cut it off and put another one on that, so the whole monocoque wouldn’t have to be redesigned.

“If this test criteria is so high that the Halo fails, and it fails the monocoque, we’re screwed.”

Szafnauer concluded that it would have been more beneficial had Halo been introduced ahead of the 2019 season as opposed to next year.

“It would have been nice to have had another year to do it properly. It is what it is,” said Szafnauer.

“The only way to stop it is if the FIA stops it and says we’re going to do it in a year’s time. It’s safer to do it properly than to rush it, that’s the only way I can see stopping it.”

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