Vettel: Rejecting Halo would be ‘quite stupid’

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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.

Ken Roczen signs with HEP Progressive Ecstar Suzuki for 2023

Roczen Progressive Ecstar Suzuki
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ANAHEIM, California – Ken Roczen will make the move from HRC Honda to H.E.P. Motorsports with the Progressive Ecstar Suzuki team, ending a long and eventful offseason that saw his split from his longstanding team after he committed to running World Supercross (WSX).

“H.E.P. Motorsports is thrilled to announce that the team has signed Ken Roczen as its premier rider for the 2023 season,” the team announced on Instagram. “Former AMA Motocross champion Roczen will be aboard a Suzuki RM-Z450. Roczen, who won his most recent championship on a Suzuki, will be reunited with the brand and bring his exciting style, determination, and grit back to the RM Army.

“Ken Roczen will compete in the upcoming 2023 Supercross and Motocross Championship series which is set to start on January 7 at Anaheim Stadium in Southern California.”

For Roczen, it is a return to the bike of his youth and on which he had some of his greatest professional success.

“This thing has been going on for weeks and weeks and weeks in the making, but there was so much uncertainty,” Roczen told NBC Sports during Monster Energy Supercross Media Sessions. “It was a very unique situation. I just finally signed two nights ago, so it’s really only legit once the ink hits the paper. It’s been in the works for a long time, but there were just a lot of questions and a lot of input from a lot of other teams too.

“Good things take time, and I’m okay with that. I grew up riding Suzuki. Ot’s like a homecoming. It’s a special feeling”

Roczen won the 2016 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship on a Suzuki before making the move to Honda. That year he won nine of 12 Nationals and finished no worse than second as he easily outpaced Eli Tomac by 86 points. He finished third in his next Pro Motocross outing in 2018 after sitting out the outdoor season in 2017.

“I am beyond excited to reconnect with Suzuki for the 3rd time in my career. We’ve had a lot of success in the past and I’m looking forward to seeing what we can accomplish together in our future.” Roczen said in the Instagram post.