Jolyon Palmer says he stands by his view that Formula 1 doesn't need to introduce a cockpit protection device after getting his first chance to trial the 'Halo' during practice for the Brazilian Grand Prix.
The divisive concept has become a regular sight during free practice sessions following the FIA's directive to continue developing it ahead of a planned introduction for the 2018 season.
Though there is strong support for the device from the likes of Daniel Ricciardo, Nico Rosberg and Sebastian Vettel, others remain less convinced with Renault's Palmer one driver to express opposition from the outset.
It is a view he maintains having sampled the 'Halo' in free practice at Interlagos, saying that while the device doesn't necessarily detract visibility, it does change how the 'open cockpit' car feels.
“For me, I've never been a fan of the Halo and I didn't really like driving with it. I have to say visibility I could see fine, even with the undulation, but I felt like I had a roof over my head. It didn't feel like driving a single seater anymore, for me. Even if the visibility was fine you could see the bit in the middle. It's not distracting but it just doesn't give you the feeling of being in a single seater anymore with an open view.”
Indeed, Palmer feels F1 is safe enough to not have to pursue a device such as this, pointing out that you would have to go 'back a long way in F1' to find a case where it would have helped prevent injury.
“For me I am thoroughly happy with head protection as it is. I'm really a fan of open cockpit, I think it's important for Formula One to be open cockpit. I think the danger - I've said many times before - is very low in Formula One, especially with the run-off we have.
“Of course there's always an element of risk but it's motor racing and it wouldn't have saved Jules [Bianchi], that's proven by the designers. It wouldn't have helped Felipe either, which they admitted themselves as well. Of course in some instances it might have done, so I think you're going back a long way in Formula One to find a case where it would have helped.
“Of course in other series it would have helped drivers like [Henry] Surtees and Justin [Wilson] but they race on ovals and they race on tracks with no run-off. Formula One is very safe now in a lot of other ways.”
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