The 2018 Formula 1 Season kickstarted last week with teams launching their cars for the season. There were teams that launched cars, while some of them launched just photos and videos! Firstly, let’s understand that car launches are used by teams to showcase new livery, sponsors and / or driver line-ups and other announcements. They DO NOT use such public events to showcase new aero parts. Imagine having your new front wing design publicly displayed in front of the world media who will photograph it a thousand times and release it across their partners. Suicide!
The talk of the town for these launches was the much-discussed ‘halo’. Fans were ready to dismiss it with some of them already betting that the device would be off the cars by the fourth race of the season. The drivers, however, were out in support of the halo purely from a safety point of view while some of them were honest to admit that they will have to get used to having a permanent visual obstruction in front of their face while racing the fastest cars in the world against some of the fastest drivers (Okay, not you, Marcus).
Personally, I am already used to seeing the halo on these cars. In fact, if you see the below picture of Daniel Ricciardo from his shakedown of the RB14 at Silverstone, you can easily miss the halo while admiring how stunning a Formula 1 car is when raced in the wet; even though this is the bold, beautiful and distracting Red Bull Racing that we are talking about. Yes, some of the teams can do a better job to camouflage their halo, but I do get a feeling that Liberty Media have worked with each of the teams to try and have the halo are integrated with the existing car design and livery as possible.
The only surprise to me is how every team’s halo is devoid of sponsors. Given the attention this device has received in the last six months, the attention a sponsor’s logo would have received would have been incremental to other areas of the car. Of course, there’s a chance of a negative impact too (given the hate against the halo), but again, there’s no way for the fans but to get used to the halo. However, in the long run and once the halo around the halo drops, I would expect normalcy to resume when it comes to visibility.
Force India Specials: Interviews with Vijay Mallya, Sergio Perez & Esteban Ocon
However, with Force India’s expected car launch tomorrow, I do get a feeling that they might be the first team on the grid to have a sponsor logo on the halo. After all, their pink racing cars have almost no space left for new sponsor additions.
Here’s also the latest video from the Firstpost Pole Position series for your viewing:
Mithila Mehta and I have partnered with Firstpost for the 2018 Formula 1 Season and will feature in their Firstpost Pole Position videos all through the season. Basically, we’re now available in text, audio and video!