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Massa: Halo needed but it is ugly

Felipe Massa says he agrees the early 'halo' cockpit protector concept is an eyesore but believes it is needed in F1.
Felipe Massa says he agrees the early 'halo' cockpit protector concept is an eyesore but has supported Nico Rosberg and Sebastian Vettel is the believe it is needed in Formula 1.

The Brazilian driver was on track when Ferrari debuted its concept of a halo protector during installation laps on the final two days of pre-season testing to gauge the reaction of its drivers Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel.

The Williams driver was involved in a high-profile accident in 2009 when he was struck by a suspension spring which had fallen from Rubens Barrichello's Brawn car during qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix.

The piece of debris struck Massa on the helmet with him in the Ferrari cockpit and he suffered life-threatening injuries which took almost six months to recover from.

The halo cockpit protector is being trialled to reduce the risk of similar accidents after Justin Wilson lost his life when loose debris hit him on the head in a near-identical incident to Massa's in IndyCar last year.

Massa says he wasn't pleased with the aesthetics of the concept Ferrari ran in Barcelona but does feel the protector is a safety feature which needs to be implemented in F1.

“[It looked] not so nice,” Massa said. “Safety is the most important thing and I totally agree with the Halo or maybe with the closed cockpit or whatever, I agree with this change. But it doesn't look very nice to be honest, so we'll see how it's going to be. If it's good for safety, then it's fine.”

Currently, Nico Hulkenberg and Lewis Hamilton have made their stance firmly against any sort of cockpit protector while a number of drivers led by Rosberg and Vettel are in favour of it being introduced as early as 2017.

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Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams. 02.03.2016.
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March 08, 2016 4:07 PM

I really don't understand how so many people are saying that the halo will save all these lives. The only driver in Formula 1 to have lost his life in the past 20 year is Jules, and there is no possible way that the halo would have prevented that. How many lives is this supposed to save if none have even been lost? Please start using your brains people.


March 08, 2016 8:36 PM

SoSlo: explain how Massa is qualified to give an opinion? he's a race car driver, not an engineer or designer. he was just unlucky enough to get hit with debris. can you imagine what would happen if there was a halo device in use at that time and instead of deflecting off his helmet, the debris hit the halo device and deflected downward and hit his leg where the only protection is leather? or what if it deflected into his chest or stomach?
Yeah I'm sure when Felipe regained consciousness from his near fatal head injury the first thing he said was "thank God that spring didn't hit my leg" As for leather I wasn't aware that F1 drivers wore chaps!

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