GP3 Series front-runner George Russell became the first driver to test the Halo, after it was confirmed to be fitted on the Formula 1 cars for the 2018 season.

The Mercedes junior had two separate testings with the Halo on the final day of the Hungary in-season test.

He first tested it during the morning session, while the second was done during the afternoon session, before the end of the day.

Overall, the British driver felt it actually improved the vision especially when facing the sun, but admitted to be struggling with getting ‘in and out’ of the car at the initial level.

“I had a much better view with the Halo than I expected,” he said. “When the sun was coming down at the end of the day, it blocked the sun from my eyes.

“So, I actually saw more than I would usually see when the sun is low. From a driver’s perspective, the visibility is completely fine.

“The only hindrance could potentially be seeing the start lights. Getting in and out of the car with the Halo takes a bit of experience. I struggled initially, but after a few trial runs I was fine,” he added.

Ever since the FIA made Halo mandatory for the 2018 F1 season, drivers and teams have voiced mixed opinions on the cockpit safety device.

The motorsport governing body revealed the current version to be the third one from the initial decision, and added by the time they implement it on the track in 2018, they might be onto the fourth version – with more track testing to be done in the second half of the 2017 season.

Meanwhile, in his maiden run in the 2017 machinery, Russell completed a total of 209 laps, finishing fourth and eighth respectively, with a time of 1m19.231s on Day 1 while he clocked a 1m19.391s on Day 2.

“As soon as I got on track, I straightaway understood how much grip and downforce this car has got – it is amazing,” he said on Tuesday.

“The biggest difference is the power steering in the Formula 1 car, and I could feel that as soon as I got out on track. And the braking potential is enormous.

“I was expecting the speed on the straight and the downforce in the corners, as everyone does,” he added.

Summing up on Wednesday, he said: “I was very pleased with the test. I managed to get through the two days not so physically tired.

“I feel like I could have done even more laps. It’s obviously extremely tough driving the 2017 car. And there’s no rest at a circuit like this – especially in 36 degree temperature.

“I was playing it safe because I knew I had two days in the car with lots of mileage planned. I wanted to do a good job for the team and tick of all of their test items.

“We didn’t focus on coming out on top of the timesheets. We came away from this test learning a lot. From our point of view we took everything away we needed to.”

Source: www.drivetribe.com


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