Lewis Hamilton says he was prepared to continue lapping with the Halo as he got his first chance to sample the cockpit protection device during practice for the Singapore Grand Prix, though Fernando Alonso says there are still niggling issues to contend with.
A staunch critic of the divisive concept when it was first introduced back in March, Hamilton has since come around to the notion of a cockpit protection device and is considered a supporter for its introduction.
After Mercedes trialled the device on Nico Rosberg's car in Belgium, Hamilton had his first taste of the Halo in FP1 for the Singapore Grand Prix and gave a positive assessment, insisting visibility issues were minor before suggesting he'd have been happy to continue driving with it to the end of the session .
SINGAPORE GRAND PRIX - Free practice results (2)
“I barely noticed it, apart from when I'm in the garage and I've got the TV screen, I can't see the TV screen! But it was actually not really a problem. In my mirrors I couldn't see my rear wing so it blocks a bit of a view in the mirror but otherwise going forwards I didn't really notice it.
“I kind of felt like I should have just kept it on. It definitely doesn't look good but when we go back to that 17% it's better than nothing.”
Another driver to try the 'Halo' for the first time, Alonso's main concerns centred around access and extraction. His words come six months after he pondered whether such a device would have hampered his exit from his heavily-damaged McLaren MP4-31 following a high-speed airborne accident in the Australian Grand Prix.
“The first impression with the Halo was that it's quite difficult to get in and out of the car. In terms of visibility it's obvious it reduces it but I'm sure you get used to it quickly. When the nosecones were raised visibility became a lot worse but two or three years later we were all pretty used to it.
“Once the Halo is imposed there will be an initial impact but we'll all get used to it quickly. There's work to be done in terms of design and accessibility has to improve, even for the mechanics to be able to tighten our seat belts.”
Neither team took the opportunity to use the Halo under harsh floodlights, instead using it at the beginning of FP1 before the sun had set.
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