Heidfeld: 'I can't race with HANS device'

Sauber Formula 1 driver Nick Heidfeld has said he cannot race in the season-opener at Melbourne wearing the HANS safety device in its current guise

Heidfeld: 'I can't race with HANS device'

The German, who finished 10th in the world championship last year, says that the head and neck device - which sits on the collarbone and is attached to the driver's helmet - has caused him headaches and such discomfort that he believes it could cause him to crash if he is forced to use it in a race. The sport's governing body, the FIA, has required that all drivers in F1 use the system this year, as it feels it is a big step forward in driver safety.

"In theory it is a good thing but in practice it doesn't work for me," Heidfeld told autosport.com, having first tried the system in free practice at the Italian Grand Prix last year. "In Monza I had a headache after the Friday, so I didn't use it anymore. I don't know how it will be possible to use it at Melbourne. At the moment, there is no way. For me, personally, I feel it is more dangerous because I couldn't concentrate for a whole race, it would start to hurt and I could lose concentration and crash."

Heidfeld also tried the system in testing at Barcelona recently, but was unable to use it for more than a lap before head and collarbone pain. He says he will now talk to the Grand Prix Drivers' Association regarding the subject.

He added: "The rules say it has to be used. I would like to see that rule changed, but at this moment I can't see it. I hear some other drivers have had problems with it and I'd like to speak with them about it."

shares
comments
Max Mosley's Letter to the F1 Team Bosses

Previous article

Max Mosley's Letter to the F1 Team Bosses

Next article

Massa Unlikely to Test Much for Sauber

Massa Unlikely to Test Much for Sauber
Load comments
Hungarian Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Hungarian Grand Prix Driver Ratings

This was race that showcased the best and worst of Formula 1, producing a first time winner and a memorable comeback to a podium finish. Avoiding trouble at the start and astute strategy calls were key to success, but where some drivers took full advantage, others made key errors that cost them dearly

The “heart-breaking” call that led to Ocon’s Hungarian GP triumph Plus

The “heart-breaking” call that led to Ocon’s Hungarian GP triumph

Set to restart the red-flagged Hungarian Grand Prix in second, Esteban Ocon had some doubts when he peeled into the pits to swap his intermediate tyres for slicks. But this "heart-breaking" call was vindicated in spectacular fashion as the Alpine driver staved off race-long pressure from Sebastian Vettel for a memorable maiden Formula 1 victory

The F1 champion who became an Indy king in his second career Plus

The F1 champion who became an Indy king in his second career

Emerson Fittipaldi’s decision to go racing with his brother led to him falling out of F1, but he bloomed again on the IndyCar scene. NIGEL ROEBUCK considers a career of two halves

Formula 1
Jul 31, 2021
Why Mercedes is pleased to be in the Hungary hunt at a 'Red Bull track' Plus

Why Mercedes is pleased to be in the Hungary hunt at a 'Red Bull track'

Mercedes ended Friday practice at the Hungaroring with a clear gap to Red Bull thanks to Valtteri Bottas’s pace in topping FP2. But there are other reasons why the Black Arrows squad feels satisfied with its progress so far at a track many Formula 1 observers reckon favours Red Bull overall

Formula 1
Jul 30, 2021
How Red Bull endured its second car crash in two weeks Plus

How Red Bull endured its second car crash in two weeks

OPINION: Red Bull was justified to be upset that Lewis Hamilton survived his British GP clash with Max Verstappen and went on to win. But its attempts to lobby the FIA to reconsider the severity of Hamilton's in-race penalty were always likely to backfire, and have only succeeded in creating a PR disaster that will distract from its on-track efforts

Formula 1
Jul 30, 2021
The ‘screaming’ F1 engine future that may not be out of reach Plus

The ‘screaming’ F1 engine future that may not be out of reach

OPINION: It wasn't just the Verstappen/Hamilton clash that had the Red Bull and Mercedes bosses at loggerheads at Silverstone, with the nature of Formula 1's 2025 engines also subject for disagreement. But hopes to have loud, emotive engines that are also environmentally friendly don't have to be opposed

Formula 1
Jul 29, 2021
The drivers that need to strike gold before F1's summer break Plus

The drivers that need to strike gold before F1's summer break

OPINION: Formula 1 is about to break up for summer 2021, with the title battles finely poised. But it’s not just the latest round of Max Verstappen vs Lewis Hamilton that will be worth watching this weekend in Hungary, as plenty of drivers are eying big results to change the stories of their seasons so far

Formula 1
Jul 28, 2021
How Lotus F1 uncovered, then squandered its last ‘unfair advantage’ Plus

How Lotus F1 uncovered, then squandered its last ‘unfair advantage’

Cast in the mould of its founder Colin Chapman, Lotus was powerful and daring but 
flawed – as it proved through further soaring peaks and painful troughs into the 1980s. DAMIEN SMITH examines a game-changing era

Formula 1
Jul 27, 2021