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Drivers divided on shield

NEWS STORY
27/04/2017

Just days after it was revealed that the FIA's yet to be seen Shield device looks set to replace the Halo, the drivers appear to be as divided on the issue as much as their team bosses are on all issues.

While some prefer the Halo and others want to wait and see the Shield, supposedly a 'redefined' take on Red Bull's Aeroscreen, others are happy with things the way they are, feeling that any such device is a step in the wrong direction.

Asked at today's FIA press conference which he would choose, Romain Grosjean was adamant.

"Can we choose nothing," smiled the Frenchman. "I haven't been a big fan of the Halo and I'm not a huge fan of the Shield either.

"I don't want to stop the safety," he continued. "I think safety in Formula One has to be the number one priority but I don't want to change what I've known as Formula One since ever and the next step is to put a closed canopy on top of the helmet and I don't want to see Formula One being closed cars."

"I agree," said Daniil Kvyat, "you know, I think it's enough for now the way Formula One should look should remain the same. I think we have enough protection so far.

"Of course if there are good ideas they should be considered but so far I am quite against it to be honest, both of those options."

"I don't mind the Shield," admitted Valtteri Bottas. "I think it looks quite OK. I think it's definitely a good step compared to the Halo.

"That's my personal view, how it looks, so I don't mind that. I think the safety aspect is always important. It's always important to keep things improving, developing - safety always needs to be improved. So I wouldn't mind trying out the Shield, seeing how is the visibility and if there are any other issues with that. But I think in terms of safety it would be a good step compared to what we have now."

"I have seen a bit of the shield, of what they showed to us," said Kimi Raikkonen, referring to the presentation made to the drivers in China. "Until we try, it's very hard to say how it is.

"Is it better than the halo? I don't know. Look-wise, I don't think there's much difference between either of them."

"I think yeah, we've still got to see a bit more but yeah, first impressions seem OK," added Daniel Ricciardo, "I guess we'll now try and get some development on that and then start to run it in some practices as soon as they can put it on the cars and then get some more feedback on it.

"It's good that they're still obviously looking for this head protection stuff so that's positive."

"I think the halo looked a bit strange," admitted Pascal Wehrlein, "so the version of last year of Red Bull. I liked it quite a lot, it looks like a spaceship and very futuristic. I liked it. If it looks similar, it's good. If it's more safe, it's good for us drivers."

However, over at Haas, Kevin Magnussen was vehemently against the Shield.

"We've seen some pictures. I'm not for it," he said. "I don't think we need something like that. I think it's going to be difficult, especially in the wet, with the screen. Even without a screen, in the wet it's difficult to see anything. "I'm sure with that as well, it's going to be impossible and more dangerous in wet conditions."

It's understood the Shield will be tested at both the Italian and Singapore Grands Prix.

Check out our Thursday gallery from Sochi, here.

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