Hamilton doesn't understand benefits of delaying Halo

Lewis Hamilton is baffled by Formula 1’s decision to delay Halo cockpit protection until after 2017, and hopes those in the sport won't be “kicking themselves” if an accident where it would have helped occurs in that time.

Hamilton doesn't understand benefits of delaying Halo
Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF16-H running the Halo cockpit cover
Press conference: second place Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1
Pierre Gasly, Red Bull Racing RB12 Test Driver running the Halo cockpit cover
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1
Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF16-H running the Halo cockpit cover
Press conference: second place Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1

It was confirmed on Thursday evening that, following a meeting of the F1 Strategy Group, the Halo would not be introduced for next season, as there had not been a chance for it to be tested extensively enough.

During Friday night's drivers' briefing, Bernie Ecclestone addressed the drivers privately to explain the situation - and Hamilton is understood to have asked some tough questions about the decision.

Hamilton had previously labelled the Halo as the "worst-looking mod in F1 history", but following an FIA presentation in Hungary last weekend had come around to understanding its benefits.

Speaking to reporters in Germany on Saturday, Hamilton made clear his frustration with the delay.

Asked by Motorsport.com if he was disappointed by the decision, Hamilton said: "I don't really know why it isn't going to be there next year. That was the point I made really.

“I basically had asked that if we are unfortunate enough to have an incident in the next year-and-a-half, and we knew we had a solution for it that would play a role in [helping] that, at the end of the next year – we will be really kicking ourselves. Well, we won't, they will.

"Because they have a solution that does help. The FIA has done a fantastic job for the last 20 odd years and always has made good safety steps, and while it doesn't look great, we know that.”

In a press conference on Friday, F1 race director Charlie Whiting explained that, while it is mainly designed to protect the driver’s head from a large object such as a wheel, the Halo would also help in 17 percent of cases where small pieces of debris were concerned.

“That 17 percent, as I have mentioned before, we cannot ignore it,” continued Hamilton.

“Over time they will continue to develop that, and hopefully over the next year-and-a-half, hopefully it will be 30 to 40 percent better by the end of 2017.

“I just hope in that space of time, when we know we do have it and the teams can afford to put in on the cars between now and next season, no-one gets injured, including myself."

Additional reporting by Jonathan Noble

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