FIA President is unable to understand the driver criticism against Halo especially by the F1 drivers who were the actual one’s behind this ‘Halo move’. He has confirmed that the Grand Prix Drivers’ association was the one that pushed for the Halo to be compulsory from this season in order to ensure driver safety.
A host of F1 drivers have come forward and criticised the Halo, not only about its aesthetics but also about it possible affecting the drivers vision, especially in the corners.
Also Read: Magnussen vents out anger against Halo
“It is short memories and it was a request from the drivers,” said Todt.
“On December 16, 2015, I got a letter that was signed by [GPDA directors] Jenson Button, Sebastian Vettel and Alex Wurz, urging us to decide for head protection for the drivers. And I said, ‘We are there. We will listen.’
“Immediately we asked the technical people as a priority to see what could come out. And on July 27, 2016 they [the drivers] knew a meeting was going to happen – and they said: ‘Don’t be weak. Please respect what we have asked you on safety’. So we committed to taking that into consideration.” he added.
And while Todt kept his word by ensuring driver safety, he feels that other stakeholders haven’t really done that.
“I must say I am so surprised, and you know I love F1 but I hate this part of F1. You have people who don’t have [keep] their word. For me we are talking about the biggest asset in life: it is loyalty and having [keeping] a word and having respect of what you have been undertaking.
“We have respected that and some have forgotten that, but that is where we are.” he added.
Todt has also responded to Wolff’s comments that he wanted to cut the ‘halo with a chainsaw’ and said that such childish criticism should be kept away from the sport.
“I will not react to what has been said. It is simply a childish game.
“I will only tell you for me, I love F1, and I think we all should love F1. I think it is very inappropriate whoever you are, just to publicly deny something which is introduced. For me, constructive criticism is always good because it makes you move forward. But public criticism which is not good for the sport – I don’t see the value.” Todt said.
Introducing the Halo was F1′ duty as drivers’ safety couldn’t be neglected, especially after all the crashes that we have seen over the years.
“For me, the halo is no problem,” he said.
“I am amazed to hear some people say that motor racing has to be dangerous and if it [a fatal accident] happens it happens. But if we can avoid that, why should we not protect the life of whoever?
“Halo is a safety device. It is human attitude to be reluctant to change, but once we know the change, after a lot of experiences and a lot of testing is good, we should implement it.
“Can you imagine how we will all feel if something would happen and if we would have had the halo it would not have happened?” Todt concluded.