Ricciardo labels first Red Bull canopy trial ‘pretty good’

@Red Bull Racing

Daniel Ricciardo says his first trial of Red Bull’s half-canopy design was “pretty good”, with the Australian describing visibility for the driver as “fine”.

The energy drinks giant recently released images of its own cockpit protection system after Ferrari debuted a version of the Halo concept initially devised by Mercedes during the final pre-season test in Barcelona.

Although the FIA says it is on schedule to have the Halo introduced next year regardless of whether a better system appears by then, Ricciardo leans more towards the Red Bull layout at the moment.

“I sat in it in the factory in the bay with the mockup design,” the 26-year-old said. “Getting out was okay.

“From a visibility point of view, sitting there, it was fine. That seemed like a pretty good first trial for us.

“In terms of function I think the Red Bull one is good. I didn’t drive the Ferrari one, but the Red Bull one seemed to cover a few more bases.”

Asked if the two struts that support the structure were impairing his vision on both sides, Ricciardo replied: “No. they have done them so that they are in line with the mirrors. The mirrors where they are now block a certain part of our vision, and these bars are in line so it did not actually impede anything extra from what we have now.”

The Halo device immediately created a stir in the paddock and has remained a hotly debated topic ever since. Some were for instance concerned that it would have prevented Fernando Alonso from getting quickly out of his McLaren-Honda following his huge Melbourne crash.

While team-mate Jenson Button immediately said the accident should not be used as an argument against the system, Ricciardo says the FIA needs to make sure all contingencies are covered.

“I have been for the halo pretty much from the start. Sure if [Alonso] needed to get out in a hurry then…in terms of the flying object stuff I am for the Halo, but if it is going to maybe put us at risk in a different scenario, then we should think about everything.

“We should only use it if it is going to be 100 percent safer in pretty much all circumstances. If I am voting for or against today I still think it is a good thing. But it is not going to happen at the next race, so the time that we have to come up with the best solution is good.”

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