FORMULA ONE stars have blasted the Halo cockpit safety system and said it is actually DANGEROUS.
The sport’s governing body, the FIA, confirmed that next season all F1 cars must use the controversial design that has left the drivers split.
The measures were introduced following the deaths of Jules Bianchi and Justin Wilson, who died in an IndyCar race in 2015.
But Romain Grosjean, who was close friends with Bianchi, and fellow drivers Jolyon Palmer and Kevin Magnussen say the design means that cannot see the track or safety flags, or even the start lights.
Grosjean said: “It was a sad day for Formula One when it was announced. I am still against it. I still don’t think it has a place in Formula One.
“The Halo is a strong device against a lot of cases. There are occasions where it can get worse.
“There problems that we may have that we haven’t thought about. Seeing the starting lights on the grid, no one has tried that, they are always different.
“Seeing flags on the side and things like that, we need to see a bit more of it.”
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He added: “I was surprised when I saw it was coming out because the teams said no to it and so did the fans.”
Magnussen, who has only done a handful of laps with the Halo on his Haas car, said he was concerned that he would not be able to see up steep hills.
The Dane fears the Halo will cause dangerous blind spots where cars will be travelling up to 180mph.
He added: “It can have an effect on tracks that are uphill, for example, turn one in Austin or Eau
Rouge at Spa, you could struggle to see the top.
“I’ve only tried it once but not for very long. Those laps didn’t feel great, it’s not a nice sensation to have something right in front of you.
“When you look at the car and it is ugly, F1 cars aren’t meant to be ugly. That is the reason that a Ferrari is more exciting than a Mazda. If it looks s***, it is s***…”
Meanwhile, Palmer says the system is “an overreaction”.
He said: “It’s an overreaction to problems in other series. It’s a sad day, a mistake, and there’s no coming back from it.
“This will be the end of Formula One as we know it, with an open cockpit. Since 1994 there’s been one fatality in F1, which is tragic, but the Halo wouldn’t have stopped it.
“The Halo would have prevented no deaths in F1 in 23 years, but because of incidents in IndyCar and Formula 2 [Henry Surtees], where there were different tracks, different safety measures.
“We’re introducing something into F1 that changes the whole tradition and history of the sport.
“I’m not being disrespectful. I just think that the whole essence of single-seater racing is open-top.”
The FIA gave a presentation to the media yesterday ahead of this weekend’s Hungarian GP to explain their research into the Halo.
However, drivers and teams were not part of the 45 minute presentation, with Lewis Hamilton admitting the nine kilo weight of the design will impact on his car’s brakes.
He said: “It has been talked about for some time now, so we knew it was coming.
“They told us it was a 17 per cent improvement in our safety, when they mentioned it here last year and it is difficult to ignore that.
“But it definitely does not look good. The weight of the car goes up and the cars are already way too heavy.
“We have little brakes trying to stop this heavy car and I hope they do a better job to bring the weight down so when they put this thing on it won’t make it heavier and harder to stop.”
Meanwhile, championship leader, Sebastian Vettel said it would be “ignorant and stupid to ignore” safety improvements.
He said: “It should be very clear for everyone and it shouldn’t be a doubt in your mind to use it or not.
“Offer that to Justin Wilson some time ago, and he would take it and we would all be happy to take it to help save his life.
“You can’t turn back the clock, but in knowing that something is there which helps us to save others, it would be ignorant and stupid to ignore it.”