Mercedes' Nico Rosberg backs halo F1 cockpit protection concept

Nico Rosberg has given his seal of approval to Formula 1's new halo cockpit protection system, even though he appreciates it is not visually pleasing at present

Mercedes' Nico Rosberg backs halo F1 cockpit protection concept

Kimi Raikkonen trialled the device on his Ferrari for one lap at the start of the third day of the second pre-season test at Barcelona.

Rosberg caught Raikkonen in action and immediately posted the photo to his Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages asking for fans' opinions.

GALLERY: Raikkonen tries the cockpit halo

Only 25 per cent gave a positive reaction, with 75 per cent against, but Rosberg is all for it.

"It's a big thing. I just felt like putting it on my Facebook this morning to see what the opinions are out there," said Rosberg.

"My opinion is it really is a massive step in safety because most of the fatalities we've had in racing in the last years.

"This would have saved those people, so it's a huge step, definitely needed.

"OK, visually, you can say it's not quite as good as now, but from some angles, like from the front of Kimi's car, it looked very cool actually.

"With a bit of thinking, it can look cool eventually, so I'm all for it."

ROSBERG WORKS ON SET-UP TWEAKS

On track, following his morning run before team-mate Lewis Hamilton took over in the afternoon, Rosberg completed 81 laps and was fourth quickest, albeit on a set of medium-compound tyres .

The German has confirmed running a different programme from previous days, working from a baseline with his car in order to focus on different set-ups.

"Every day is totally different because we have such a limited amount of days, and we're really pushing to the maximum to use them," said Rosberg.

"Today was especially interesting as I kept everything the same all morning, fuel level, tyres, so I could just change the car to get a really good feeling.

"Every time I was going out with a different set-up just to try and learn about the new car, and with the conditions great as well, it was a really valuable experience."

Rosberg has confirmed to feeling "ready for Melbourne" after conducting a race simulation, but has dismissed suggestions he already has an edge over Hamilton given their laptimes.

"I wouldn't care to say that," said Rosberg.

"It's looking good, yes, and I'm optimistic for the start of the season."

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