“Running the halo was no real issue,” Hamilton initially said following Friday practice. “I barely noticed it, to be honest – just in my mirrors, where it blocked the view slightly.”
This was the first time Hamilton tested the prototype halo in his career. Teams have been sending their drivers out with the device equipped in FP1 sessions since the Belgium Grand Prix.
McLaren’s Fernando Alonso also tested the device in FP1, but he did not comment on it following the Friday practice sessions.
The FIA announced this safety device would be delayed for 2017 with plans to introduce it to the cars in 2018. They sighted further testing as the reason for the delay and thus McLaren, Force India, Mercedes and Ferrari have all subsequently begun putting the device through it paces at race weekends.
Hamilton’s slight concern is worrying as many fans have criticised the halo for not providing any safety, but simply further increasing the risks for drivers. For example, it’s harder to exit the car quickly (in the event of fire) when the halo is equipped. Mirrors are a key tool in any Formula One drivers arsenal and without them opens the massive risk of an accident. In short, if a driver can’t use his mirrors, it poses a major threat to cars around him.
Hamilton will return to the track for Mercedes when FP3 gets underway in just under 12 hours.