Daniel Ricciardo says Formula One drivers are keen to see increased head protection for 2017 and sees no real downsides to the Halo proposal.
Formula One's rule makers are determined to introduce more head protection next year following the fatal accidents of Jules Bianchi and IndyCar's Justin Wilson. Discussions about the Halo concept -- protective piece of carbon fibre around the top of the driver's head supported by a vertical strut in front of the cockpit -- have been met with the approval of drivers.
"There's been quite a lot of dialogue in the GPDA [Grand Prix Drivers Association] with a lot of emails going back and forth in the last month or so," Ricciardo said. "I think most of us are for it, however it's styled or designed, but it's just to have that extra little bit [of protection].
"Our head is the only really vulnerable thing at the moment and last year there was two pretty tragic ones, so if we can avoid it at the cost of nothing then it's a good thing. It's not taking away anything from the driver in terms of courage or anything like that, it's a simple little benefit that we can all gain from and no one wants to see another fatality, so if we can minimise risk then why not?"
Asked if there were any downsides to the halo concept, he said: "Not really. Some static visibility is a bit impaired with some designs, but when you are moving - like if they've done simulations - because you are moving on the track you look straight ahead but you also look a lot to the tyres and into the corners.
"You are looking ahead, so even if something is right there in front of you, you are looking past it. What may look like a problem statically is not a problem when you are moving. These are just early designs, so we'll improve these things but we could probably race with it as it is."
The Halo solution is the FIA's preferred option but the exact specification is set to be agreed upon before the end of the month as part of a raft of rule changes for 2017. Red Bull team principal Christian Horner revealed this week that his team has also put forward a canopy proposal as a possible alternative with extra protection.
"Obviously head protection is crucial," he said. "Red Bull is making another submission for a canopy that we believe will be a safer option -- it's more of a canopy than a Halo. But it obviously needs to be tested, which hopefully can be done very quickly. "We have a committed a design study on evolving the FIA's theme, and feel there's a viable solution."
Asked if the canopy idea could be ready by 2017, Horner said: "Why not?"