Sebastian Vettel believes not introducing the ‘Halo’ cockpit safety device to Formula 1 in 2017 would be “quite stupid”, saying that between 90 and 95 per cent of the drivers support it.
F1 driver Jules Bianchi and IndyCar’s Justin Wilson both died in 2015 as a result of head injuries sustained while racing, putting cockpit safety high on the FIA’s agenda moving forward.
The Halo was first trialled over pre-season in Barcelona before more tests through the year, going head-to-head with the ‘aeroscreen’ as a solution that could be introduced for 2017.
F1 drivers were given a briefing on the Halo over the Hungarian Grand Prix weekend ahead of a vote by the F1 Strategy Group on its introduction in Geneva today.
During Thursday’s FIA press conference, Vettel was informed that Renault’s Jolyon Palmer claimed most drivers were against Halo but afraid to voice their concerns.
“I’m a bit surprised about these comments because we had a vote among the drivers and I think 90 to 95 per cent voted for it, so I don’t know why all of a sudden it comes up the way it does,” Vettel responded.
“I think it’s the wrong impression as I think the majority in here as well said. We said we don’t like the look of it but I don’t think there’s anything really that justifies death.
“We’ve always learned from what happens, incidents that happen on track and we’ve tried to improve.
“That would be the first time in human history that we’ve learnt a lesson and we don’t change.
“So I think it’s up to us to make sure it does happen, otherwise I think we’d be quite stupid.”
Although the F1 Strategy Group can reject the Halo’s introduction at today’s meeting, the FIA does have the power to push it through on safety grounds should it see it fit to do so.