Hamilton now ready to accept “terrible”-looking Halo

Lewis Hamilton believes that F1 drivers should be willing to accept the introduction of the Halo if it gets final approval from the FIA, even though he still doesn't like how it looks.

Hamilton now ready to accept “terrible”-looking Halo
Pierre Gasly, Red Bull Racing RB12 Test Driver running the Halo cockpit cover
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 with the media
Pierre Gasly, Red Bull Racing RB12 Test Driver running the Halo cockpit cover
Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF16-H running the Halo cockpit cover
Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF16-H running the Halo cockpit cover
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1
Pierre Gasly, Red Bull Racing RB12 Test Driver running the Halo cockpit cover
Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF16-H running the Halo cockpit cove

Hamilton has long made it clear that he doesn't like the device, but following Friday's presentation by the FIA – when all the drivers were shown videos of past accidents in F1 and other categories – his views appear to have mellowed.

The FIA presentation included evidence of how the Halo would have protected drivers in previous accidents, and a figure of a 17% improvement in the chances of survival was revealed.

"I paid very, very close attention to the great briefing that we were given on it," said Hamilton. "I take safety very, very seriously.

"The interesting thing is that the Halo system, whilst it doesn't look great and doesn't look in the racing spirit for me, we can't ignore the fact that the chances are 17% better of saving the driver's life in the instances that have happened in the past. However, we still have to continue from there.

"At some stage we'll have to close the canopy, most likely, I think, because that would be 100%. They were saying that there were still scenarios like Felipe [Massa]'s issue here in 2009, it wouldn't have stopped him from being hit in the head.

"I think with Justin [Wilson] I believe they said it wouldn't have saved him, because it was a pointy object from above. A closed canopy could have perhaps done that.

"So I don't think we can ignore it, and if there's any way to make it look a little bit better, then fine, and if not, it's a safety thing, and which we're going to have to all accept. If it's a regulation it's a regulation, then you have to accept it."

Nevertheless, Hamilton continued to criticise the aesthetics of the device. "It will look terrible! But as I said you can't ignore the fact that if one of us is going to have a 17% better chance of surviving a serious incident.

"They showed us a GP2 car landing on a wall somewhere, and if they had that it would have protected him. Luckily he didn't get injured, but it could have taken his head off.

"It wouldn't have changed the situation with Jules [Bianchi]. Very few things I think would change that, because it was a heavy truck.

"I think we're going to have to continue to move forwards. I've not driven with it so all I can say is just from looking at it, it doesn't look like it belongs on an F1 racing car."

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