The controversial Halo protection system due to be introduced to Formula 1 cars as early as 2017 has gained the support of most drivers throughout the paddock.
Opinions were divided on the safety device when it was first announced the Halo would be mandatory on all Formula 1 cars in the near future, with many citing the true DNA of the sport as well as the effect it would have on the car’s aesthetics.
However, having been shown a presentation at last week’s Hungarian Grand Prix and the strategy group voting today whether the device will be introduced next season, most drivers on the Formula 1 grid are in favour of its introduction.
“It is very clear – the large majority are definitely for the halo. Very large majority,” Nico Rosberg said.
“We had the presentation from the FIA. And you can only be for it. I understand people who will see that…critics, people who have something against the halo, I understand that the purist and things like that, but nevertheless it is the right thing to do.”
Drivers in the FIA press conference on Thursday ahead of the German Grand Prix were asked their views on the Halo system, to which they generally echoed each other’s sentiments.
“We had a vote amongst the drivers and I think 90-95% voted for it so I don’t know why all of a sudden it comes up the way it does. I think it is the wrong impression as the majority have said. We don’t like the looks of it but I don’t think there is anything that justifies death,” Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel added.
“We’ve always learnt from what happened, incidents on track, and tried to improve. That will be the first time in human history that we have learned the lesson but we don’t change. I think it is up to us that it does happen otherwise I think we would be quite stupid.”
Daniel Ricciardo added to Rosberg’s and Vettel’s arguments, suggesting the Halo will help prevent the ‘freak accidents’ seen in recent years.
“I think what people from the outside need to understand is that when we say it will make it safer, it will, but that doesn’t mean the risks we take our any less. It won’t change our approach to a corner,” Ricciardo said.
“For me, as much as I understand it, it’s to help [prevent] the freak accident, or if something comes flying in the air to stop it hitting us in the head as happened last year with some incidents in Indycar.
“I would say it’s purely to get rid of that risk and I think it will do a good job.
“For us getting behind the wheel and going flat out in Eau Rouge or something will not change if we’ve got Halo on or not. That’s what people from the outside who are against it need to understand; we’re still race car drivers it’s just trying to eliminate that freak accident side of it”.
Felipe Nasr, and the two Manor drivers Pascal Wehrlein and Rio Haryanto were also present in the press conference and declared their support of the Halo safety device despite it not looking aesthetically pleasing.
Image via XPB Images