Three-time Formula 1 world champion Jackie Stewart believes that the Halo cockpit safety device is the “correct step” for the series following its public test in Barcelona earlier this month.
Following the deaths of Jules Bianchi and IndyCar’s Justin Wilson in 2015 from head injuries sustained while racing, driver safety has been high on the FIA’s agenda in recent months.
The Halo made its public debut at F1’s pre-season testing to mixed reviews. While some praised the additional protection it would offer, others were critical of its cumbersome appearance.
Speaking to Auto Motor und Sport in Germany, Stewart – one of the first pioneers of improving driver safety in F1 in the 1960s and 1970s – said that the Halo represented a step in the right direction.
“Wings on the cars were initially also ridiculous. We all got used to it,” Stewart said.
“I see nothing wrong with driving safety a step forward. I find it the correct step, even if it’s insuring against something that very rarely happens.
“If it should eventually save a life, we must thank the Halo.”
Halo is currently undergoing further tests and development ahead of a possible introduction for the 2017 season, with Red Bull’s canopy concept also being considered as an alternative.