Nico Hulkenberg: Canopy better solution than Halo

Andre/Sutton Images

Nico Hulkenberg says he would prefer the Red Bull canopy to the Halo concept as head protection is now "unavoidable" for 2017.

The FIA has signed off some form of cockpit protection for next year but is currently undecided between the Halo design, tested by Ferrari over the winter, or Red Bull's 'Aeroscreen' design which made its debut during FP1 in Sochi. Hulkenberg has been one of the most outspoken critics of the move towards head protection next year as he thinks it damages the DNA of Formula One, which has always been an open cockpit series.

"It's like a [Porsche 918] Spyder, it's still open ... but still better than Halo," Hulkenberg told ESPN. "Definitely it looks better in my eyes, still I'm not a fan of it and I don't think we need it but it's unavoidable now, it will come and will happen. So from the two that is probably the better solution."

Asked if, like Lewis Hamilton advocated on Thursday, he would prefer the entire cockpit being closed off, the German replied: "Not sure. I've seen pictures of that somewhere too and that looked quite cool, actually, from a visual point of view."

One of the biggest concerns with the canopy, dubbed the Aeroscreen, is visibility in wet conditions, something Red Bull is working to address. Hulkenberg says this is one area that needs to be explained in more detail.

"Probably at the pit stops one mechanic will be there, like with the visor. I think that's very easy to do that. The question is whether just at every pit stop is enough. Sometimes, especially when you are in the traffic behind other cars, you get a lot of stuff - sand, oil - and if that mixes up that can be very bad for the vision sometimes. If you have to wait for your next pit stop ...

"These are the questions that come up with it now and obviously we now have to find solutions."

Hulkenberg hopes non-Red Bull drivers will soon get the chance to sample the device to gain an opinion of their own from within the cockpit.

"We will have to at some point. I'm not sure of the timings on that and how they want to play it."