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Hamilton: Running the Halo in Singapore ‘no real issue’

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Lewis Hamilton says that using the ‘Halo’ cockpit protection system during Formula 1 practice in Singapore on Friday was “no real issue” during his first test with the design.

With cockpit protection high on the FIA’s agenda in 2016, the Halo has enjoyed a number of tests throughout the current F1 season after making its first appearance during pre-season.

Team bosses agreed earlier this year to postpone the introduction of any cockpit protection until 2018 at the earliest, but evaluation of the Halo is ongoing.

Hamilton has made his opposition to cockpit protection clear in the past, saying he hoped using the Halo would be optional.

On Friday in Singapore, the Briton completed part of FP1 with the Halo on his car before offering his feedback after the session.

“Running the Halo was no real issue,” Hamilton said.

“I barely noticed it to be honest, just in my mirrors, where it blocked the view slightly.”

Hamilton’s practice running at Marina Bay was cut short after a hydraulic problem in FP2, but the three-time world champion is confident the issue can be resolved.

“We had a small hydraulic issue at the end of FP2 but it doesn’t look like anything serious,” Hamilton said.

“The guys are working on it and it should be fine for tomorrow, which is the main thing.

“Our pace looked OK today, definitely much better than last year, so I’d say we’re looking relatively strong.”

Qualifying for the Singapore Grand Prix is live on CNBC from 9am ET on Saturday.

Report: Spencer Pigot out at Ed Carpenter Racing

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Spencer Pigot will not return to Ed Carpenter Racing in 2020, according to a story Thursday by RACER.com.

The 26-year-old Floridian, who won the 2015 Indy Lights championship, is expected to be replaced in the No. 21 Chevrolet by 2019 Indy Lights runner-up Rinus VeeKay.

“I’m appreciative of the opportunity ECR gave me,” Pigot told RACER.com. “I understand the reasons they had to go in a different direction, and wish them all the best.”

In 56 NTT IndyCar Series starts, Pigot has 15 top 10 finishes, with a best finish of second at Iowa in 2018. He finished 14th in the 2019 point standings.

VeeKay, who tested in an Indy car twice for ECR in 2019, has six wins in 18 Indy Lights starts, including a weekend sweep of the final two rounds of the season at Laguna Seca in September.

A representative from ECR told NBC Sports Thursday that the team currently could not comment on any driver rumors as the team currently does not have any drivers under contract for the 2020 season, although it is presumed that owner/driver Carpenter will return to the No. 20 entry for the oval rounds.

NBC Sports will provide updates on the story once more information becomes available.