F1 bosses against Halo for 2017, radio rules changed

A statement on the FIA website confirmed other alternatives remain in the frame, after the strategy group unanimously approved "frontal cockpit protection for Formula One cars" from 2018 onwards.

Sebastian Vettel - cropped

Sebastian Vettel in a Ferrari fitted with the Halo cockpit safety device

Formula One's strategy group has voted against introducing the Halo safety device in 2017.

The strategy group - comprising F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone, FIA president Jean Todt and six leading team principals - met on Thursday, with the potential use of the cockpit safety device at the top of their agenda.

Speaking earlier in the day, four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel said "90 to 95 per cent" of drivers were in favour of the Halo being brought in for next season.

Yet a statement on the FIA website confirmed other alternatives remain in the frame, after the strategy group unanimously approved "frontal cockpit protection for Formula One cars" from 2018 onwards.

The statement added: "It was decided that owing to the relatively short timeframe until the commencement of the 2017 Formula One season it would be prudent to use the remainder of this year and early next year to further evaluate the full potential of all options before final confirmation.

"This will include undertaking multiple on-track tests of the 'Halo' system in practice sessions during the rest of this season and during the first part of the 2017 season.

"While the Halo is currently the preferred option, as it provides the broadest solution to date, the consensus among the strategy group was that another year of development could result in an even more complete solution. Halo remains a strong option for introduction in 2018."

In the drivers' news conference ahead of this weekend's German Grand Prix, Ferrari driver Vettel stated: "As I think the majority in here said as well, we don't like the looks of it [the Halo] but I don't think there's anything really that justifies death.

"I think we've always learned from what happened, incidents that happened on track, and we've always tried to improve [safety].

"Now, that would be the first time I think in human history that we've learned a lesson and we don't change. It's up to us to make sure it does happen, otherwise I think we'd be quite stupid."

The FIA, who could yet opt to force through the introduction of the Halo on safety grounds, also confirmed a new approach relating to radio communications, following controversy over the recent tightening of rules.

"At the request of the teams and commercial rights holder, the FIA has agreed to adopt a more liberal approach to the interpretation of Article 27.1 [that a driver must drive the car 'alone and unaided']," added the statement on the strategy group meeting.

"With the exception of the period between the start of the formation lap and the start of the race, there will be no limitations on messages teams send to their drivers either by radio or pit board.

"This approach is aimed at providing improved content for fans and spectators, as teams will now be required to provide the Commercial Rights Holder with unrestricted access to their radio messages at all times that their cars are out of the garage."