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‘Halo’ can take weight of London bus – Mercedes’ James Allison

Some fans have criticised the appearance of the ‘halo’

Formula 1’s new head-protection device is strong enough to “take the weight of a London double-decker bus sitting on top”, says Mercedes technical boss James Allison.

The ‘halo’ will be introduced this year as F1 attempts to limit the biggest safety risk in the sport – the driver in an open cockpit.

It is designed to protect drivers from flying debris and other intrusions.

Governing body the FIA arrived at the halo as it was the only device tested that could pass its fundamental test – deflecting a wheel assembly fired at it at 240km/h (150mph).

Many fans have criticised the halo’s appearance and its potential for undermining what some see a key ethos of F1 – open cockpits.

The majority of the drivers are in favour of the device and their representative body, the Grand Prix Drivers’ Association, is wholeheartedly behind increased frontal cockpit protection.

Allison, talking in a video produced by Mercedes,