Thuesday, 13 february 2018, 08:35
Mercedes chief engineering officer Matt Morris has described the recent halo tests as 'pretty scary' due to the amount of weight which is being put on the new safety device, following the reveal last week that it has the strength to withhold a double-decker bus.
From the 2018 campaign onwards, F1 vehicles will be required by regulation to have the new device, which is designed to protect drivers from any falling debris following crashes.
Due to the materials it will have to withstand, it needs to be extremely sturdy, and Morris has described some of the tests as 'pretty scary' due to the weight that is being set upon the halo.
"It has been a big challenge. The loads are very very high," the Mercedes engineer said.
"We always knew it was going to be a challenge and we invested some time and money up front to do quite a lot of test pieces.
"Obviously you don't want to build a complete chassis, but we built various test pieces where we had dummy Halos, parts of Halos, full Halos, and testing how the interfaces would behave.
"We found some issues but we planned early enough so we could react to those issues and catch the main chassis, which we did.
"It was close. I am not saying we breezed through it, and there were quite a few heart-stopping moments when doing the static test that comes in from an oblique angle – where it takes the weight of a London Bus.
"When you see that test going on, it is pretty scary with the amount of load going in there, which it is designed to do."
Due to the challenges that have come with trying to incorporate the halo device, Morris thinks some teams may struggle to get everything perfect before the season gets under way.
"It will be interesting to see if anyone has any problems," he continued. "It is a pretty tough test so it wouldn't surprise me if people have issues.
"I hope they don't because we want everyone in winter testing, but it has been an interesting challenge."