F1 wrong to pursue closed cockpit route - Hulkenberg

Nico Hulkenberg insists he has not changed his view that Formula 1 is wrong to pursue a closed cockpit route, despite it now almost certain such changes are coming for 2017.

The German was outspoken last year that he believed F1 should remain true to its tradition of being open-cockpit single seaters.

And, although a push to introduce a Halo-concept of head protection for 2017 is now well advanced and supported by many drivers, Hulkenberg still stands firm in his belief.

When asked by Motorsport.com if his opinion had changed in the wake of recent efforts by FIA and teams to agree a plan for 2017, Hulkenberg said: "No. It is just a personal thing. I just don't like it. For me, it should be open.

"Single-seater racing, it was always open – and in my eyes I would like to see it remain open."

Hulkenberg did not see a conflict in his belief that F1 should remain open cockpit while he was a big fan of sportscar racing following his triumph at Le Mans last year.

"Yeah, but that is different, that is sportscars," he said. "Sportscars, they have ended up like this. But there is no problem to drive with a windscreen."

Halo support

Hulkenberg's view on closed cockpits is not shared by all drivers – with Daniel Ricciardo in particular adamant that they should be introduced as soon as possible.

"There has been quite a lot of dialogue, especially among GPDA, and lots of emails going back and forth," said the Australian.

"However it is styled or designed, just to have that extra little bit, our head is the only vulnerable bit."

He added: "With Jules [Bianchi] and then Justin [Wilson], it is silly now – a bit of tradition for what in the end?

"F1 has seen a lot of changes over time, in 2009 the cars looked pretty ugly at first and everyone got used to it and now they are normal.

"If it is the halo or something similar, I think within a race or two people will start to think it looks normal."

No shame

Ricciardo also rubbished any claim that having better head protection for drivers would in any way make their job less challenging.

"It takes nothing away from the driver," he said. "It is not going to take away any courage or something like that.

"For me, it is a simple little benefit we can gain from. No one wants to see another fatality basically, so if we can minimise risks then why not."

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Nico Hulkenberg
Teams Force India
Article type Breaking news