Lewis Hamilton has compared Red Bull’s canopy – or aeroscreen – to a riot shield and believes it is a “half-arsed” attempt at head protection.
Red Bull debuted its alternative to the Halo on Thursday in the Sochi paddock and is set to trial it on-track for the first time on Friday. It believes its solution offers better protection than the proposed Halo and is more aesthetically pleasing too.
Hamilton doesn’t agree and believes if the canopy is the preferred solution, then they should go with a fully-enclosed cockpit.
“I don’t really have too many thoughts on it,” he said when shown a picture, “I like the way it is.
“When I get in my car I know that there is a danger, that’s been the same since I started when I was eight years old and that’s the risk that I am willing to take and that’s the risk that every single driver who has ever been in the car has been willing to take,” he is quoted by ESPN.
“It [safety] has come along so far over the years which is amazing, we haven’t really seen deaths and I mean, if they are going to do this, close the cockpit like a fighter jet, don’t half-arse it. That screen looks like something from a, I mean jeez, it looks so bad. It looks like a bloody shield from the policeman, the riot shields, it’s like a bloody riot shield.”
Hamilton believes danger is part of the sport and says the cars must continue to look “sexy” because that’s one of the reasons children start watching.
“You’ve got this cool, elegant, futuristic Formula 1 car and you’ve got a crappy riot shield sat on top of it, nah.
“It [safety] is a constant thing that always needs to be worked on but as long as it doesn’t affect the aesthetics and the style and the coolness of F1, because the reason you look as a kid, you look at F1 [and think] ‘wow, these guys, they are crazy. They could die at any moment.'”