John Surtees wants Lewis Hamilton to reconsider his criticism of the 'halo' cockpit protector and work with F1 to make it better for all parties, and believes his son's life would have been saved by the concept.
The 82-year-old motorsport legend, who is the only person to win world titles on both two and four wheels, tragically lost his son Henry in a Formula Two race at Brands Hatch in 2009 when he was hit on the helmet by a loose tyre.
Surtees says he fully supports the introduction of the new halo cockpit protectors and is disappointed in the current F1 world champion's comments after Hamilton called it the 'worst-looking modification' and he'd refuse to use it.
“Lewis could perhaps think a little more about the halo and think about the responsibility he does have as a world champion,” Surtees told The Telegraph
. “He could actually consider this and, if possible, give the maximum input into making certain that it is as less intrusive as possible.”
Surtees believes his son's life would have been spared if he had a cockpit protector, while calls for the new safety device increased after Justin Wilson died last year in IndyCar after being hit on the helmet by loose debris.
The British driver says he understands Hamilton's point of view but feels reducing the risk of further accidents has become an essential issue which needs addressing.
"I suffered the tragedy of losing Henry which certainly could have been prevented by a development like this,” he said. “I can appreciate those initial reactions that Lewis has got because if I'd still been racing I think I would have been the same.
"But in turn with these sort of things you need to sit down and think carefully about all the ramifications of going along and just ruling it out of hand.
“Change comes about and sometimes changes are forced upon one. It may be that the governing body, just because of the momentum and the fact that they have gone this way, will have no option but to impose these regulations."
Force India's Nico Hulkenberg has also publically voiced his opinion against the cockpit protectors, while Nico Rosberg and Sebastian Vettel have led calls for the new device to be developed and introduced in F1 next year.