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Daniel Ricciardo: Nico Hulkenberg shouldn't be 'a hero' over Halo

Clive Mason/Getty Images

Daniel Ricciardo has criticised fellow driver Nico Hulkenberg's stance against the Halo safety device, saying the German was "puffing his chest out" about it.

Hulkenberg is strongly opposed to the Halo concept trialled by Ferrari this week. The Force India driver thinks the cockpit protection device, one of two concepts being considered for implementation next year, would "sterilise" F1.

Ricciardo has previously made his support for cockpit protection clear and thinks the opinion of drivers about Halo is irrelevant if it makes them safer in the car.

"It is not if we like it or not, it is if we can run it and if it is safer," Ricciardo said. "So from what I saw it seems okay. For me when the cars went from 2008 to 2009 it was a big change and the cars were ugly. I don't think that the Halo is as dramatic as that.

"I heard Hulkenberg say some things, I don't agree with that. Because there is no need to be a hero about the situation. It does not change the sport or the speed of the cars. It is just if there are any flying objects it is a bit of extra protection for us. I don't know why he is puffing his chest out for something like that, it doesn't make sense."

Though the Grand Prix Drivers' Association (GPDA) is firmly behind the push for cockpit protection, Hulkenberg is not the only driver to have expressed reservations. Reigning world champion Lewis Hamilton has called the Halo trialled in Barcelona "the worst mod in Formula One history" and argued drivers should have the option whether or not to drive with it.

The FIA has until the end of April to formalise cockpit protection for 2017. Red Bull is trialling a Batmobile-style concept before the Australian Grand Prix but Renault's chief technical officer recently told ESPN the Halo concept is the only one which can be introduced in time for next year.