After last Sunday’s Australian Grand Prix, Kimi Raikkonen offered a positive view on F1’s controversial Halo, although not for the reasons one would expect.
The mandatory cockpit safety device was introduced this year surrounded by a lot of contention as everyone debated its usefulness and, more particularly, its aesthetics.
Labeled as “ugly” or “awkward” by several drivers, the component’s presence has now largely been forgotten with no one on the grid reporting any complaints.
Asked in Melbourne if the Halo had any bearing on his driving in race conditions, Ferrari’s Raikkonen gave it a thumbs up, for a reason specific to Melbourne however.
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“I was no different than in testing or at any other point and I think it definitely doesn’t disturb you at all,” Raikkonen said.
“I think it was helpful here because of the sun; when it’s coming in at the right height, it’s blocking the sun in the eyes!”
Indeed, F1’s curtain-raiser event at Albert Park typically starts in the latter part of the afternoon, which means the race concludes as the sun begins to set.
Melbourne’s winner, Sebastian Vettel, echoed his Scuderia team mate’s view about the element’s positive side-effect, and reported no real issues in the race.
“I think it was only beneficial here, and it’s safer,” said the German.
“Maybe people don’t like how it looks but you know, it might make a difference for us one day and it’s a good thing to have.”
“During the race, it was no issue. As Kimi said, it even helped. It worked like a sun visor, so that helped.
“In the parade lap, that’s when it was bothering because you couldn’t see so well the people in the grandstands.
“I was trying to find, is it better to look below, or… wasn’t tall enough to get above. Other than that, no difference.”
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