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Nico Rosberg on ‘Halo’ F1 cockpit protection: “I’m all for it”

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Nico Rosberg lent his support to the proposed ‘Halo’ design for cockpit protection in Formula 1 today following its public on-track debut in Barcelona.

Following the deaths of Jules Bianchi and Justin Wilson in 2015, driver safety has once again become a hot topic in single-seater racing, with a number of proposals to prevent serious head injuries being put forward.

One such design is the ‘Halo’, put forward by Mercedes, which enjoyed its first public run on Kimi Raikkonen’s Ferrari earlier today.

Although many were quick to criticize the look of the ‘Halo’, Raikkonen reported that his vision in the cockpit was less limited than he imagined, much to his surprise.

A number of drivers have had their say on the ‘Halo’, including Rosberg’s own Mercedes AMG Petronas teammate Lewis Hamilton who slammed the device.

But Rosberg made his stance clear in a post on Twitter shortly after its on-track debut.

“MY OPINION: Massive safety improvement. It will look ok too eventually. I’M ALL FOR IT!” Rosberg tweeted.

However, another Nico – Nico Hulkenberg – was set against it.

“Don’t do it,” Hulkenberg is quoted as saying by Autosport.

“It sends the wrong message. F1 is very safe at the moment.

“It looks horrible, I don’t like it and it’s just one of these little personal things that I wouldn’t like to see it.”

IndyCar will eliminate double points from the 2020 season finale

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Though the NTT IndyCar Series hasn’t confirmed the date of its 2020 season finale, it has determined that double points won’t be in play.

An IndyCar official confirmed Monday to NBCSports.com that whether the season ends at Weather Tech Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, California, or on the streets of St. Petersburg, neither race will feature double points. Team owners were informed of the change during a conference call last week.

The news was first reported by RACER.com.

With the original 17-race schedule having been shortened by the cancellation of at least three races (Circuit of The Americas, Barber Motorsports Park, the Long Beach Grand Prix), using double points in the finale would have carried even greater weight (and perhaps more so if more races are unable to be run because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

IndyCar has been using double points at select races since the 2015 season. The 104th Indianapolis 500 will remain a double-points event.

In rescheduling the Indy 500 to Aug. 23 last week, IndyCar unveiled a revised schedule that listed Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg as TBD for its season finale. The race originally had been scheduled to open the season before being called off because of the COVID-19 outbreak.

IndyCar CEO Mark Miles told reporters last week that St. Pete probably would be slotted into the first two weeks October after the Sept. 20 race at Laguna Seca that had been slated to be the season finale for the second consecutive year.