Heidfeld latest to criticise HANS

Nick Heidfeld has become the latest driver to speak out against the Head And Neck Supports (HANS) device, which is to be made compulsory in Formula 1 from the start of the season

Heidfeld latest to criticise HANS

The German tried two versions of the device in testing at Barcelona yesterday (Tuesday). One was a standard FIA unit, whilst the other had been modified by the Sauber team itself. However, Heidfeld was not happy with either of them.

"After two laps using the HANS system it gave me a big headache because it hurt my neck," he said. "I wear my seat-belt loose so I move about a bit, but the HANS doesn't so it was rubbing against my collar-bone. I can't wear the system when it's like this. I want to wear it in Melbourne but I can't unless modifications are made to it. Something has to be done about it."

The HANS device modified by Sauber featured a special clip, which attached the device directly to the driver's seat-belt. Although this didn't entirely solve his problems, Heidfeld was happier with it. Teams are free to modify the HANS device, but must receive approval from the sport's governing body, the FIA, before using their own version in a race. Sauber's device has yet to be approved by the FIA.

Also in testing yesterday, BAR star Jenson Button revealed that he has been unable to use the device in testing, because of insurance problems. He said: "My helmet is not insured to be used with HANS, so it has to be cleared before I can wear it. I haven't tried it yet, but I'd like to."

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