Haas team principal Guenther Steiner has backed growing calls to delay the introduction of the Halo cockpit protection device by a year.
The FIA is keen to introduce increased cockpit protection as soon as possible, with the Halo having been identified as the device it believes is most ready for introduction in 2017. However, following further testing of a new version of the Halo at Silverstone, Sebastian Vettel voiced concern about the visibility it provides.
Christian Horner then made clear he would vote against the Halo being introduced at this stage, and after Red Bull also tested the device during this week’s in-season test, Steiner agreed with Horner’s comments.
“I’m not in the Strategy Group so I’ve no right to vote but I’ve still got an opinion,” Steiner said. “My opinion is ready or not? I think we all want safety in the sport, absolutely, but the drivers choose to do this sport. They know the danger of it. It can happen.
“I think the cars are pretty safe at the moment - they’re never safe enough, I’m the first one to say it - but with the Halo I take the example of Q1 in Austria, double yellow, how many got penalised because they didn’t lift? Three. Three got penalised, so they obviously admitted they didn’t lift. So we put the Halo on, but the driver himself when they take the decision to be safe is not safe because he wants to go fast.
“If you put the Halo on, is it not starting [towards] ‘I’m safe now, I can do whatever I want’. Because a double waved yellow could be somebody on the road. I’m in between. You want to be safe but it will never be 100% safe. Nobody really likes it, I think the risk is part of the sport. It shouldn’t be [a big] risk, but it’s just a difficult decision.
“A lot of people try to say it’s not ready or things, which is a good point as well. Is it ready? Vettel said he doesn’t like the view of it, I don’t know what Red Bull think. Maybe [Pierre] Gasly is not ready to decide on a yes or no because you need a [Daniel] Ricciardo or someone with experience of a Formula One car but for sure he’s got an opinion on it.
“So I think delaying it as well, I’m for it as well.”