Hamilton hopes ‘Halo’ would be optional, says he wouldn’t use it

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Lewis Hamilton hopes that the proposed ‘Halo’ cockpit protection being trialled by Formula 1 would be optional for drivers if introduced, saying that he would not use it.

The ‘Halo’ made its public on-track debut earlier this week in Barcelona as Ferrari drivers Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel tested the prototype on short runs.

‘Halo’ has split opinion up and down the paddock, with the praise it received from Vettel and Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo being juxtaposed by comments from Hamilton and Force India driver Nico Hulkenberg.

Hamilton took to Instagram on Thursday to call the ‘Halo’ “the worst looking mod in F1 history”, and continued his criticism of it when speaking to reporters on Friday by saying that he would choose not to use it if given the option.

“If it is going to come in, I hope we have an option to use it or not because I will not be using it on my car,” Hamilton said.

“Ultimately it’s the driver’s protection so we should have a choice individually. I should be able to decide whether to have to put that on my car, because it wouldn’t be something that I would choose.

“I like it the way it is now. When I get in the car I know there is a certain risk. Safety is a very, very important issue for sure but there are risks that we take and you have to decide how much of a risk you are going to take.

“For me, I would rather drive without it and risk it.”

Simon Pagenaud’s engineer relives 2019 Indy 500 victory on Twitter

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The Team Penske engineer for last year’s Indianapolis 500 winner is reliving Simon Pagenaud’s day by tweeting about what he was doing each moment a year later.

Starting with an observation that he awoke in his Indianapolis hotel room at 4:30 a.m., Ben Bretzman (@benbretzman) sent nearly two dozen tweets by 11 a.m. ET about how the morning before the 103rd running of the Indianapolis 500 unfolded.

Bretzman was through the infield tunnel and in Gasoline Alley by 6 a.m. By 7:30 a.m., he was wondering if his driver was awake yet, but he had heard for the first time from Pagenaud 45 minutes later.

‘BACK HOME AGAIN’Sunday at 2 p.m. ET, NBC

FIERCE FRIENDSHIPPagenaud, Rossi recall epic battle of 2019 Indy 500

Among other highlights: The team’s last strategy meeting was at 8:30 a.m.; final check of the weather was at 9:30 a.m. and Bretzman gave the No. 22 Dallara-Chevrolet a once-over at 10:35 a.m. before it was pushed to the grid.

Follow @BenBretzman to watch the day unfold from the pit box and tune into “Back Home Again at 2 p.m. ET on NBC as Pageanud and Alexander Rossi, who are good friends off the track, recap their epic duel with host Mike Tirico.

Simon Pagenaud and engineer Ben Bretzman debrief at Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IndyCar photo by Joe Skibinski).