F1 racer Ricciardo welcomes enhanced head protection

London, Feb 19 (IANS) Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo believes that Formula One racers will gain from the increased head protection starting from 2017.

The sport’s governing body Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) has told the various teams about its plan of introducing a device called ‘halo’ which has been specially designed to protect driver’s heads from airborne debris.

“It’s not taking away anything from the driver in terms of courage or anything like that. It’s a simple little benefit that we can all gain from and no-one wants to see another fatality,” Ricciardo was quoted as saying by the BBC on Friday.

In 2015, French racer Jules Bianchi passed away nine months after suffering from a crash in which he injured his head severely.

British driver Justin Wilson also died last August after being hit on the helmet by flying debris from another car during a IndyCar Series race in the United States.

The FIA is working with F1 teams to finalise safety plans for next year. Though there are alternatives the halo is the preferred option. The halo will be attached to the car on each side of the rear of the cockpit and it will have a single strut in front of the racer.

“Our head is the only really vulnerable thing at the moment,” said Ricciardo.

“I honestly don’t think anyone is against it. Sure, some people probably didn’t have an opinion, but most people spoke up about it and said ‘it’s what we want’.”

“With Jules and then Justin, it just seems like a bit of tradition, for what in the end? If this is just a little ‘halo’, within a race or two people will think it looks normal,” he added.

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