Once a staunch opponent of the F1 halo device, Lewis Hamilton changed his tune at a briefing about the cockpit safety system during the Hungarian Grand Prix weekend and became even more of a fan when he tested it during free practice at Marina Bay Circuit.
Speaking to media, he said of his experience with the halo, “I barely noticed it, apart from in the garage when I could not see the TV screen. It blocks a bit in the mirror, but going forward I didn’t notice it.”
BBC reports that the FIA demonstrated the halo would protect them in all recent accidents in which a driver’s head was vulnerable to impact from a large object, such as a wall or loose wheel, and that it reduced their risk of injury by 17% even from small flying debris, such as the accident in which Felipe Massa suffered a fractured skull in the 2009 Hungarian Grand Prix.
Hamilton explained his change of opinion, “I kind of felt like we should have kept it on. It definitely doesn’t look good, but when you go back to that 17%, it’s better than nothing.
“Apart from getting into the car, I didn’t notice much difference. I didn’t really notice it, apart from blocking my mirrors – I couldn’t see the rear wing. I could run it this weekend if they allowed it,” added Hamilton.