Mercedes chief Toto Wolff would take 'a chainsaw' to F1's new halo

Team principal not impressed with new feature, which would protect drivers from flying debris and crashes

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, November 24, 2017:    Valtteri Bottas of Finland and Mercedes GP in his car featuring 'the halo', a new safety feature that will be mandatory next season, during practise for the Abu Dhabi Formula One Grand Prix at Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi on November 24, 2017. Christopher Pike / The National

Reporter: Graham Caygill
Section: Sport
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Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff criticised Formula One's controversial new halo head-protection device as the double world champions unveiled their new F1 W09 car for the 2018 season on Thursday.

After years of research and development, the FIA settled on the halo to protect drivers from flying debris and crashes following the fatal accidents of Jules Bianchi at the 2014 Japanese Grand Prix and Justin Wilson in a 2015 IndyCar race.

"I'm not impressed with the whole thing and if you give me a chainsaw I would take it off," said Wolff, who complained about the weight of the new device. "I think we need to look after the driver's safety, but what we have implemented is aesthetically not appealing and we need to come up with a solution that simply looks better.

"It's a massive weight on the top of the car. You screw up the centre of gravity massively and, as much as it is impressive to look at the statistic that you could put a bus on top, this is a Formula One car."

Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One drivers Finland's Valtteri Bottas (L) and Britain's Lewis Hamilton (R), with Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team Principal and Executive Director, Toto Wolff ,(C), pose on the new 2018 season Mercedes-AMG F1 W09 EQ Power+ Formula One car during its launch at Silverstone motor racing circuit near Towcester, central England on February 22, 2018.  / AFP PHOTO / Justin TALLIS

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