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Mercedes yet to decide which way it will vote on Halo

Andre/Sutton Images

BUDAPEST, Hungary -- Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has yet to make up his mind over whether to support the Halo head protection device at the upcoming vote next week or vote against it.

After a steady evolution of the design of the protective hoop this year to make it slimmer and lighter, the FIA is ready to put the design in front of F1's decision making bodies for a vote on its introduction in 2017. The process will start with a vote at F1's Strategy Group meeting on Thursday, which Wolff will attend on behalf of Mercedes, although the FIA still has the power to push through the introduction of Halo on safety grounds if it sees fit.

Asked which way he would vote, Wolff said: "I think first of all, whatever can be done for the safety of the drivers needs to be done. Even if it looks disgusting...

"I don't think it looks Formula One, I don't think it makes the sport and the cars and the drivers appear spectacular, but all that doesn't count because safety comes first and we are going to have a discussion about all of the safety aspects of the Halo.

"Is it the safety tool that we need in order to protect the drivers more? My personal opinion is that we need to look at all the studies that have been done and discuss them with the various standpoints and then come to a decision that can be either, that is a good thing, or it's a good thing but it is not where it should be yet, or we don't like it for safety reasons.

"I haven't made up my mind because I want to hear the other opinions as well."

On Friday the drivers were given a presentation on Halo, which showed how it would have either enhanced or made no difference to the chances of survival in a series of previous accidents. Wolff said he had also seen the presentation but added that it did not cover all eventualities.

"Yes that is a convincing presentation, but I haven't seen a car upside down on fire in the presentation."