Jolyon Palmer has his say on F1's new Halo head protection system

AUTO-PRIX-JPN-F1

Jolyon Palmer is not convinced that the Halo head protection system that will be implemented into Formula One for the 2018 season will be worth it.

The former Renault driver, who raced for the franchise over the last two seasons, believes that the introduction of the new technology within the cockpit of the cars is "extremely unnecessary".

Back in July last year, the FIA revealed that cockpit protection would be used from the start of the 2018 season, ensuring more safety for drivers following high-profile deaths in the sport, including that of Jules Bianchi in 2015.

The device, which has been tried and tested ready to be rolled out this season, is a steel wishbone shaped concept that will sit on top of the cockpit, which Formula One bosses believe will increase the safety.

However, Palmer, who will join the BBC's punditry team for the new Formula One season, revealed that he is an outspoken critic of the new technology. 

"I hate it, I'm going to cut to the chase," Palmer told BBC Radio 5Live.

"I think it's awful. Formula One, the one aspect of danger is the head, as it is exposed. But it's so ugly, it is against the tradition of open cockpit cars and I feel it's extremely unnecessary.

"It was one of my big inspirations to become an F1 driver, I was exposed to it when I was young. I went to Silverstone and the fact you can see and identify the drivers' helmets, you can see them working at the wheel, and you're like 'wow, that looks really incredible.'

"Actually now they're going to be covered up, you lose the human aspect to it."

The 27-year-old Horsham-born driver is doubtful about whether it could save a life, if needed, after Halo designers admitted that the device wouldn't have prevented Bianchi's death. 

"We've had lots of presentations over the last few years, and as far as I know in Formula One, it wouldn't have saved anyone.

"The last death, Jules Bianchi, very tragic, but it was proven that Halo would have made no difference, and that was from the designers of Halo."

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