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I'm Matthew Somerfield, a freelance journalist focused on the technical elements of Formula One. It has been a pleasure to provide content via this site for the last 5 years, which has led me to several paid freelancing jobs along the way. I'm currently plying my trade with Motorsport.com and working alongside the legend that is Giorgio Piola.

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30 Nov 2017

And so it has begun, teams have already started to add fairings to their halo devices as they look to change the aerodynamic impact it'll have on the car....

The regulations (article 15.2.6) permit a fairing to be attached to the safety device provided it is bonded to the structure and made of prescribed laminate, a vanity panel as such, like the ones to bridge the step nose design first introduced in 2013. The fairing may be no more than 20mm from the structure, giving the designers quite a decent amount of freedom with which to mitigate the aerodynamic issues posed by the safety devices introduction.

If you follow the blog you may recall that back at the start of last year I mentioned that freedom for the designers might invoke some intricate designs, firstly to neutralise the aerodynamic effect but perhaps in the longer term even allow them to make gains. If you're not au fait with that article it can be found here: 'Halo' - Angelic or Fiendish?

Three teams tested aerodynamic fairings in Abu Dhabi, McLaren presenting the most complex iteration of the three on day one of the post GP test, the fairing incorporated three hooped winglets stacked one on top of the other. The three winglets were supported by a central mounting spar (red highlight) and a further two spars midships either side of it.
The MCL32 with a more intense aerodynamic fairing attached to the Halo
Toro Rosso entered the fray on day two of the test with a similar design to the one already used by McLaren, albeit with only a single winglet, again using 3 supports around the rim.

Haas tested theirs ahead of the GP and included a row of opposing vortex generators on the trailing edge of the main hoop, much like my original mockup, creating mini vortices to improve flow over the drivers helmet and onward toward the airbox and engine cover.

If this first showing is anything to go by I think we can safely assume that the complexity and look of each of the halo's will be very different when the teams line up on the grid in Australia.
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