Nico Rosberg has hailed his first ever run with the “halo” head protection device as a success during Friday morning’s free practice session at the Belgian Grand Prix.
Rosberg ran the halo on his W07-Hybrid for two small stints at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps and set FP1’s benchmark lap time before removing it.
The German was one of four drivers running the halo this weekend alongside Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo, Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg and Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz Jr.
When asked of his opinion, Rosberg stated “The team did a great job on the halo,”
“It doesn't disturb me when I'm driving. I could go fast straight away and even set the fastest lap time of the session with it, so I think that was a success.” Rosberg said.
After finishing the morning session on top of the time-sheets, Rosberg ended the day in sixth place as the Mercedes avoided running the red-marked Super Soft tyre compounds and instead opted for longer stints on the Soft and Mediums.
“After that, car-wise we seem to be quick,” he continued.
“The grid is a bit all over the place this afternoon with people doing different things with the tyres. It'll be interesting to see how that plays out in the race.”
"Long run pace will be important, as you can overtake here.” The German added.
"I don't know how we're looking yet – we'll need to look into that. But there was a lot of tyre degradation, so managing that on Sunday will be important." Rosberg concluded.
The F1 teams agreed to delay the introduction of head protection until 2018 so that more tests can be run, but the halo still remains as the preferred option.
by Michael Terminello