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Coulthard: You can’t possibly be against Halo

So boring and not exciting! In the start phase of the new Formula One season, there are currently several topics that polarize and cause intense discussion and excitement among experts and fans of the royal class.

One of them is the tedious topic of qualification mode, which seems finally cleared up for the rest of this season at least. Another is the discussion on the controversial Halo head restraint, which is to be introduced from the year 2017. It is clear that until the final decision is made, the safety system will continue to warm up the mood.

Even among drivers there is a great deal of disagreement on the issue of Halo. For example, Nico Hullkenberg and Daniel Ricciardo got together because the Force India pilot thinks Halo is nonsense: formula 1 needs certain dangers. This also makes sport sexy, and it needs formula 1,”says the German, who finds little understanding in the Red Bull star. There’s no reason to be a hero. The sport stays the same, the speed too. But when something flies through the air, it’s a good protection. I don’t understand why he’s making a fuss,”says the Australian.

Ricciardo now gets support from former McLaren pilot David Coulthard. The Scotsman finds it an impossibility to position himself against Halo. If it is something that provides protection against frontal impacts on the driver’s head and avoids injuries such as those fatal by Senna and Bianchi, then I find it difficult if someone argues against it,”Coulthard said on”Laureus.com”. In his Imola accident 1994 Ayrton Senna was hit by a wheel suspension on his helmet, Jules Bianchi fought with his head against a rescue crane in Suzuka 2014.

Does Halo change the classic characteristic of a Formula One car?

Coulthard can only explain the resistance to Halo with the traditional understanding of a Formula One car: “Grand Prix racers have historically seen open cockpits and free-standing wheels. If you change that, the car will become a sports car –in this direction the concerns go.”Nevertheless, the 45-year-old calls for more openness to innovations and tries to make another comparison from the past.

“As safety belts were introduced in formula 1, people like Stirling Moses didn’t like her. They wanted to be thrown out of the wreckage rather than held in it because of the great risk of fire. Today it seems ridiculous not to have a belt in a racing car,”2001’s Vice World Champion cites an example of how safety-relevant aspects have prevailed in Formula 1.

In general, Coulthard is impressed by the safety offered by the current Formula One racers. Over the past twenty years “incredible progress” has been made in expanding the cockpit to the safest place in a crash.” Unfortunately, at Bianchi’s time, we discovered that there are always these coincidences where the driver’s head is affected. This is obviously a weakness in the system,”explains the Scotsman for his advocacy of Halo.

In his opinion, one cannot and should not react directly to every accident, for example the Alonso/Gutierrez crash of Melbourne, but continuously improve safety in formula 1. Danger is a part of sport, one should always be aware of that.” We cannot make life so sterile that our children no longer stumble and fall down.”So there is this hundred percent security also in motor sports. But Halo was in any case a step in the right direction, according to Coulthards Conclusion.


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