Formula 1's Latest Rumours and Talk: Ferrari's Halo Test, Jenson Button and More

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Formula 1's Latest Rumours and Talk: Ferrari's Halo Test, Jenson Button and More
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Are we looking at the future of Formula One?

That was the question in Spain at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya paddock on Thursday morning as Ferrari conducted an initial evaluation of the "halo" concept, which is set to be fitted to every car in time for the 2017 season in an effort to improve cockpit safety.

The halo is regarded as an unwanted, imperfect, but necessary solution to one of F1's most serious, lingering issues, and Kimi Raikkonen had the privilege of testing the structure on the penultimate morning of the final pre-season test.

On the subject of car parts that may do the trick, Honda brought a final version of its 2016-specification power unit to the test in a bid to improve McLaren's fortunes. Although it is unclear whether the engine upgrade will be enough for the team to race competitively this season, Jenson Button likes what he has seen so far. 

The 2009 world champion claimed the new powertrain represents the biggest step forward Honda has made since it returned to F1 at the beginning of last year.

Daniel Ricciardo, meanwhile, will be hoping Red Bull also make a promising step forward after enduring their first winless campaign since 2008 last season.

But ahead of his third appearance on home soil as a Red Bull driver, Ricciardo admitted he is entering this year's Australian Grand Prix with limited expectations.

While one Red Bull-backed driver is expecting little from the beginning of 2016, another cannot wait for the season to start, with Carlos Sainz Jr. describing his excitement over Toro Rosso's almost trouble-free testing program.

Closing our latest roundup is Fernando Alonso, who has admitted he tried to swap seats with Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton in 2014 before swapping Ferrari for McLaren-Honda.

The two-time world champion went on to claim just two points finishes in 2015. But on the bright side, at least he avoided testing the halo.

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