As of Monday morning Formula 1 is on its summer holidays. This coming month is that time of year when the teams and the racing personnel take a breather for a couple of weeks before the season resumes late in August at Spa Francorchamps.
During that time there is bound to be a lot of talk, in fact there has been already, about the FIA enforcing the 'Halo'.
The ugly, some say pointless, useless, ineffective and just plain daft, appendage that will sit around the drivers cockpit, ostensibly to protect the driver from intrusion into said cockpit of random flying objects or low flying cars that have got airborne in an accident.
I have read comments from the most distinguished of Formula 1 commentators, from drivers and from the public, from the FIA and from the teams. All of those teams incidentally, with the exception of Ferrari, voted against adopting the thing.
It seems to be a polarising subject with, on the one hand, those that say that the appendage, whatever it's final design, is here to stay so just get used to it and those that are so set against it saying they will never watch Formula 1 again if the thing does indeed become 'de riguer' by regulation.
From my point of view it is going to be introduced and we will have to get used to it but I certainly do not like it, in fact I loathe the very look of it.
For those that are unaware of just what 'it' is I can only describe it as looking like the thongs of a jandal suspended over the driver's cockpit with the car being the jandal itself.
(For those not used to the term 'jandal' it is the New Zealand term for a flip flop or thong and the only correct name for such footwear).
A Formula 1 car, 2017 version, is at best inelegant with bits of carbon fibre protruding from every permitted orifice and from every allowable surface, all of which perform the task of harnessing the air flow to create the holy grail of F1 design called 'downforce'.
This latest addition to the cars will allegedly, and hopefully, go some way to protecting the driver from large flying objects that may be headed towards his, already barely visible, helmet.
This situation has not really been a problem in Formula 1 for some considerable time and the last time there was any real intrusion into the driver's helmet area was eight years ago, almost to the day, when Felipe Massa was struck by an errant part from the car he
It is debatable in the extreme if a halo, had it been fitted, would have prevented that intrusion or may even have bounced it into another driver's path or even the crowd.
It will come as no surprise when I say that I have never raced a Formula 1 car, nor sat in one going at speed and therefore have no experience of an object flying towards me that will do damage to my head.
Only Formula 1 drivers know what that feels like so I do not, and nor do the vast majority of those on either side of the debate, speak from a position of strength.
What I do know is that it is ugly and the very need for it is questionable.
A view apparently not shared by the Chairman of the Grand Prix Drivers Association, ex racing driver Alex Wurz who recently tweeted "Defo not the most esthetic (sic) thing! But on the positive, please consider that safer cars mean we can race much faster & harder in the future!"
Meaning that up to the introduction of the halo the drivers have not been racing hard and fast? That seems a strange thing to say.
At the other end of the driver spectrum Niki Lauda, himself no stranger to danger in the cockpit, calls the device a mistake. He adds, "The Halo destroys the DNA of an F1 car. The FIA has made F1 as safe as it gets. Also the danger of flying wheels is largely eliminated, because the wheels are always more firmly attached. The risk to the drivers has become minimal".
Others like Sky TV commentator Martin Brundle think the device will cause more problems than it seeks to cure and is "plain ugly'.
Some of the very best engineers in the world work in and around Formula1 so you would think that all this comnbined brain power would come up with something, anything, that looks better than the contraption currently proposed.
Over past decades with new ideas coming into the sport such as helmets, seat belts and fireproof overalls, deformable structures and all the rest, the sport has irrefutably been made safer. In the laudable quest to make Formula 1 safer still, this time, in my opinion, the halo is simply a step too far. By even considering a halo, or a version of it, the FIA has committed itself to taking some action so in the future, if nothing was done and a driver was injured in a way that could have been prevented by a cockpit protection device, the sport would be left open to not only critsiscm but possible litigation.
Motor racing is dangerous and that is fact so how far can it be made safe without taking the essential danger element out of it? Ultimately it is safest when the cars are locked up and not on the track so perhaps ban racing altogether. Pretty safe then.
And what of all the other open wheel race series from Formula 2 to the Toyota Racing series, from the TRS to Formula Ford and from Formula Ford to the kids in karting?
Are they all now affected by this move taken at the very pinnacle of the sport?
The MotoGP riders and bike racers around the world must be laughing their heads off.
Formula 1 is now teetering on the brink of a totally enclosed cockpit and that ladies and gentlemen is what is called sportscar racing.