' I SECOND THAT': Ferrari's Fernando Alonso has backed calls for Formula 1 to test closed cockpits. Image: AFP / Dimitar Dilkoff
SOCHI, Russia - Two-times World champion Fernando Alonso on Thursday added his voice to calls for Formula 1 to consider the introduction of closed cockpits.
In the wake of Jules Bianchi's life-threatening accident at the Japanese Grand Prix, Alonso told a news conference ahead of this weekend's inaugural Russian GP that he welcomed proposals to look at the plan.
Alonso said: "I probably tend to agree we should at least check and try or test the idea. We are in 2014. We have the technology. We have aeroplanes and many other examples used in a successful way. So why not to think about it?"
Frenchman Bianchi remained 'critical but stable' in hospital in Japan following Sunday's race in which his Marussia collided with a recovery vehicle. Bianchi, 25, suffered severe head injuries.
Ferrari driver Alonso added that he had enjoyed a lucky escape in 2012 when he was involved in a massive multiple collision amid flying debris at the start of the Belgian GP.
He said: "All the biggest accidents in motorsport in the last couple of years have been head injuries - so it's probably one of the parts where we are not on the top of the safety.
"Even in my case, in 2012 at Spa, I probably could have died there, in corner one, if it had been 10 centimetres closer to my head."
Closed cockpits have been considered by F1 in the past, but were rejected because the teams believed that their introduction would make their cars look too ugly.
The Williams team's deputy team principal Claire Williams told an audience at the Leaders in Sport conference in London on Wednesday (Oct 8) that she favoured considering closed cockpits and said driver safety was more important than the look of the cars.
Williams driver Brazilian Felipe Massa, who survived life-threatening head injuries when struck by an errant spring from another car during qualifying at the 2009 Hungarian GP, supported Alonso's call for action.
Massa said: "I totally agree with Fernando. It would be interesting to try to work on that. Definitely, for my accident, it would have been perfect. For Jules - I don't know."Stay with Wheels24 for the 2014 Russian GP this weekend.