Surtees calls on Hamilton to back 'Halo' concept

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Formula 1 legend John Surtees has made an appeal to Lewis Hamilton, imploring the reigning World Champion to rethink his criticism of the new 'Halo' safety concept expected to be introduced in the near future.

Surtees, 82, is obviously receptive to means of improving cockpit protection given the personal tragedy he endured when his son Henry was killed in a Formula Two race at Brands Hatch seven years ago when he was struck on the helmet by a stray wheel.

When Ferrari and Sebastian Vettel tested the novel device in Barcelona last week, Hamilton made it clear that he thought it was "the worst-looking mod" in the history of F1, and that he would not be in favour of using the concept.

Surtees suggested that as a leading public figure of the sport, Hamilton should provide a more proactive and positive view on safety ideas, and not dismiss a concept altogether.

"Lewis could perhaps think a little more about the halo and think about the responsibility he does have as a world champion," Surtees told The Telegraph.

"He could actually consider this and, if possible, give the maximum input into making certain that it is as less intrusive as possible."

The 1964 World Champion touched on the difficult subject of his son's death in 2009, and how the presence of a 'halo' device would have perhaps saved his life.

"I suffered the tragedy of losing Henry which certainly could have been prevented by a development like this.

"I can appreciate those initial reactions that Lewis has got because if I'd still been racing I think I would have been the same.

"But in turn with these sort of things you need to sit down and think carefully about all the ramifications of going along and just ruling it out of hand.

"Lewis is a superb driver and his input is valued. He is speaking from a traditional point of view and the enthusiasm of sitting in a single seater without anything around you.

"But change comes about and sometimes changes are forced upon one. It may be that the governing body, just because of the momentum and the fact that they have gone this way, will have no option but to impose these regulations."

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