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F1 Mexican GP: Magnussen on Halo: It’s like a cap pulled down really far

"You can see where you are walking, but you can't see anything else. I don't like it. The visibility is not as good as I hoped..."
Mexican Grand Prix - Free practice results (2)

Kevin Magnussen has reiterated his opposition to the Halo cockpit protection device as after trialling the prototype for the first time during free practice for the Mexican Grand Prix.

The Dane has been one of the concept's more vocal critics this season as the FIA continues to evaluate the device ahead of a proposed introduction for 2018, citing its impracticability and ungainly aesthetic.

Now, having trialled it first-hand on track, Magnussen says he remains distinctly unimpressed.

“Not a big fan,” said Magnussen after Friday practice. “It feels weird to have something in front of you. It is like having a cap (with the brim) pulled down really far.

“You can see where you are walking, but you can't see anything else. I don't like it. The visibility is not as good as I hoped. So I think at tracks where there is elevation it is going to be a problem.”

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Daniel Ricciardo, Nico Hulkenberg, Carlos Sainz and Nico Rosberg ran the halo at Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium, as the many elevations would put the device to the test as concerns surrounded its inception due to visibility concerns.

The results from the test were generally positive for all four drivers, as none of them experienced any issue with visibility around the hilly 7.5km circuit.

“I'm sure we all have our own opinion, but my opinion is that there are perhaps other things that need to be looked at before something like a halo or a closed cockpit or a canopy screen or whatever,” Magnussen continued.

“That accident with Jules would not have been any different if he had had a halo. So I think the halo would work in a situation if you had a wheel hit the head or maybe a nose cone, which is what happened with Justin Wilson.

“But in F1 there are other things that need changing before…I would have preferred in Spa to have gravel instead of tarmac runoff, because when you are going backwards and sideways for sure you prefer to have gravel. So I think there are other things we need to focus on first.”

Pascal Wehrlein also had the halo fitted to his Manor in FP1 and ran off the track during his first lap with the device fitted to his car. While the blame could be attributed to the German not being used to the carbon fibre ring in front of him, the 22-year-old joking he may have been because he wasn't fully awake.

“My feeling is that it's really strange. So if you drive it for the first time it feels strange, abnormal, you always feel like something is in-front of you which shouldn't be there. If it's better for safety then I work on that,” Wehrlein said.

“Because it was my first lap I didn't really know what happened and I had to smile in the car. I went off in the second corner just driving slow and somehow it was… I don't know, didn't pay attention, maybe I was still sleeping. I woke up this morning at six o'clock, maybe it was a bit too early!”

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