Pierre Gasly isn’t welcoming the new Halo cockpit Red Bull debuted at Silverstone with open arms.
— Red Bull Racing (@redbullracing) July 12, 2016
Red Bull’s been testing out a nifty new device on the Silverstone circuit and it’s inspired a lukewarm reception from one of their drivers. Pierre Gasly really isn’t a fan of the Halo protection system. After taking it for two installation gaps on his Red Bull RB12, the overwhelming conclusion he seems to have come to is that the device is “weird” despite not affecting visibility to a significant degree.
— Red Bull Motorsports (@redbullmotors) July 12, 2016
“It does not change much in terms of visibility but it feels weird to see something above your helmet, also on the straight, you see this sort of triangle above you. Now, I think you can get used to it and you can definitely drive it.”
— Pierre Gasly 🇫🇷 (@PierreGASLY) July 12, 2016
But it doesn’t seem to be a problem with the Halo protection system in particular. Gasly believes to install or not to install a protection system at all is a matter of principle. To him, Formula 1 wouldn’t feel right if the cars were not open cockpit, as they always have been.
“But for me, Formula One has always been open cockpit. For sure, there are more risks but drivers have known this for a long time and I think that all drivers that climb into a racing car are aware of the risks and accept them. I don’t think things should change on that front. It’s always been that way. We’ll see what happens, but I like how it is now.”
Certainly, the racetrack doesn’t seem like the best place to be acclimatising to distracting new modifications. But on the other hand, keeping cars as they were in the mid-twentieth century is no way for Formula One to move forward either. Being judicious on what changes are appropriate and safe is a must for the FIA. A screen protection system that doesn’t drastically reduce ability seems within reason. A controversial ruling clamping down on crucial radio transmissions may not be.