JUNE 14, 2001

Schumacher says HANS needs development

THE new Head And Neck Support (HANS) system was on trial at Silverstone on Thursday. Michael Schumacher used HANS while training and said it was impressive but still needed further development.

Schumacher used the HANS system as he put his Ferrari through its paces at the British circuit. Although the reigning champion span out at the end of the morning session, that was blamed on a hydraulic fault and not to do with HANS in any way.

"Everything about it (HANS) suggests it will improve safety," said Schumacher. "It is good but I think it still needs a bit of improvement."

The HANS system is designed to join onto the seatbelts in the cockpit of a Formula One car to help prevent the movement of a driver's head, and subsequent neck injury in the result of a crash.

HANS, for example, could have prevented Sauber's Nick Heidfeld suffering any injury when he crashed heavily into a wall during qualifying for the Canadian Grand Prix. Heidfeld has been forced to miss the Silverstone test as he complained of headaches.