Not every driver is on board with F1’s plans to cover the cockpits.
After Grand Prix Drivers’ Association chief Alex Wurz declared recently that “all the drivers hope that passing the additional head protection will be a formality”, the FIA duly cleared the path for its introduction in 2017.
During last week’s Barcelona testing, however, Force India driver Nico Hulkenberg made clear his opposition.
“It’s just a personal thing. I don’t like it. For me, it (the F1 cockpit) should be open,” said the German.
His comments follow a period late last year when teams were provided with a mock-up of the proposed ‘halo’, designed initially by Mercedes, in order to get driver feedback.
“I think maybe it was Nico Hulkenberg who said he wasn’t really for it,” Daniel Ricciardo told the Sunday Age newspaper, “but I think most of the other guys are (for it) so we’ll see what happens.”
The Red Bull driver said other drivers who were formerly opposed to covering the cockpits were convinced by the deaths last year of Jules Bianchi and Indycar’s Justin Wilson.
But there are others, like Hulkenberg, who would prefer F1 stick to its roots.
“For me, safety is obviously on the agenda, but it is not a massive concern,” Renault rookie Jolyon Palmer told PA Sport.
“I think Indycar is quite different to formula one in that point of view,” he said.
“A car (in Indycar) hits the wall on the outside and all the debris has nowhere to go apart from back on the circuit. If you have an accident in formula one … by and large if you hit a wall you are quite a long way from the track.
“I think we need to be careful not to go away from what formula one has always been, which is an open cockpit,” Palmer added.
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