Nico Rosberg is adamant F1 must push forward with the halo cockpit protectors if it can save lives despite a fightback from critics against the design.

Rosberg's Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton and Force India driver Nico Hulkenberg have been the most outspoken members against the halo cockpit safety device after Ferrari debuted a prototype at pre-season testing in Barcelona, criticising the aesthetics and the need for a cockpit protector.

The German driver has openly backed the device and believes it is essential if it can avoid the tragic deaths of Henry Surtees and Justin Wilson.

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"The Halo is something that the GPDA has also been pushing strongly, because it is the most risky area that still remains for us F1 drivers," Rosberg said. "It's the head. A lot of the recent fatalities in open wheel racing have been blows to the head. I don't know how many exactly the Halo would have avoided but for sure a couple of them. So a large percentage if there was only a couple of them. Therefore it is definitely the right thing to get as soon as possible.

"I can understand the purists of course that they will say 'blah blah blah' but the purists have probably always been complaining for the last 50 years.

"When Jackie Stewart was blaming safety in the 70s he was heavily criticised and those things were absolutely lethal, those cars. There's always going to be the purists who want to keep it the way it is and things like that. That's respectable, fine, everybody has his opinion."

Rosberg says he keen to push forward the development process and doesn't agree the current designs look ugly and can be improved to minimise that particular drawback.

"I think it's fantastic that they're really pushing ahead with it and putting it on the cars and things like that," he said. "I think from a couple of angles it even looked pretty cool, from the front for example I think it looked great, no problem. OK some other angles you can still work on it a little bit maybe or whatever, but it doesn't look bad either. So it's fine and we need to put it on the car."