HANS needs more work say Sauber drivers

After trying out two versions of the Head and Neck Support (HANS) while testing at Barcelona this week, Nick Heidfeld said he can't wear the device in its current form. One HANS he used was the standard FIA system and one had been modified by...

After trying out two versions of the Head and Neck Support (HANS) while testing at Barcelona this week, Nick Heidfeld said he can't wear the device in its current form. One HANS he used was the standard FIA system and one had been modified by Sauber but Heidfeld was not happy with either of them

"After two laps using the HANS system it gave me a big headache because it hurt my neck," he said, according to Autosport. "I wear my seat-belt loose so I move about a bit, but the HANS doesn't so it was rubbing against my collar-bone. I can't wear the system when it's like this. I want to wear it in Melbourne but I can't unless modifications are made to it. Something has to be done about it."

Teams are permitted to alter the device as long as the FIA approves any changes. The modifications Sauber made did make Heifeld more comfortable but it wasn't enough. Fellow Sauber driver Heinz-Harald Frentzen also tried HANS in testing and agreed that it needed more work.

"I tried both the FIA and the other HANS device and somehow we have to make it work," Frentzen said. "It is a different kind of discomfort. It pushes against the collarbone. This configuration is not right for me so we have to get the right shape."

HANS will be compulsory this year but the system has come under criticism from some drivers for being uncomfortable and possibly dangerous. BAR's Jacques Villeneuve has even said it could be a killer in the wrong circumstances. However, most think it is simply a matter of getting used to wearing it, which will take time.

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Heinz-Harald Frentzen , Jacques Villeneuve , Nick Heidfeld
Teams Sauber