Hulkenberg: Closed cockpits unnecessary

Force India driver Nico Hulkenberg believes that Formula 1 may lose some of its appeal if it were to introduce closed cockpits. 

The debate regarding whether or not F1 should make use of closed cockpits has come to the fore once more following the tragic death of IndyCar driver Justin Wilson last week.

However, Hulkenberg, who recently won the Le Mans endurance race in a closed-cockpit car, believes that open cockpits should remain as drivers know the risks they are taking when they enter motorsport.

"In my opinion, no," he told reporters when asked if closed cockpits should be introduced. "There are pros and cons, but I see single seater racing as open cockpits.

"When we sign up we know there is still some risk involved and there could potentially be some danger but that is in the DNA of racing in motorsport.

"We shouldn't sterilise the whole thing, make everything too clinical and overprotect the whole thing. That's also not good for the sport and might make things a bit more unattractive."

There are differing opinions on the F1 grid regarding the matter, with Valtteri Bottas indicating that he would be in favour of closed cockpits. 

"Why not? If it doesn't limit your vision too much I don't see any downsides," Bottas said.

"There have been many accidents with things hitting drivers' heads, so I think anything that can be found to protect that would be good.

"People say that closed cockpits wouldn't be F1 cars but I don't really see what difference it makes."

McLaren's Jenson Button admitted that he had previously been against closed cockpits but that now it "needs to happen sooner rather than later."

World Champion Lewis Hamilton said that he was "torn" about the matter, while Fernando Alonso said it would not necessarily be to the detriment of the sport. 

The Spaniard said: "I think I'm open to any solution that the technology in these days, in 2015, [allows for] a closed cockpit with no big issues.

"There are other categories like the World Endurance Championship that has the closed cockpit and nothing happened."

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