Mostly due to its appearance, Formula One’s new Halo protection system has generated a decent amount of controversy among F1 drivers and fans, but its effectiveness was certainly proved this past weekend at the Belgium Grand Prix following a potentially devastating first-lap crash.
The intense incident was set into motion when Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg locked up his front tires in an attempt to brake, causing him to crash into the back of McLaren driver Fernando Alonso. The force from the collision caused Alonso to go over Charles Leclerc’s Sauber car in what looked like about as close of a call as you can get.
As you can see from the footage of the wreck, Alonso’s car came dangerously close to Leclerc’s head, with the top of his Halo protection bar being the only thing preventing certain disaster.
In a tweet following the crash (which forced Leclerc, Alonso, and Hulkenberg to all have an early Beligum GP exit), Leclerc said that he had “never been a fan of the Halo but I have to say that I was very happy to have it over my head today.”
“The positive side is we are all three okay, especially Charles. I flew over his car and the halo was a good thing to have today,” Alonso said, according to the BBC.
Following the wreck, a number of current and former F1 drivers, including Nico Rosberg, Max Chilton, and Felipe Massa, touted the fact that the Halo system played a major part in saving Leclerc’s life.
Who knows if this will mark the end of complaints directed towards the Halo, but it definitely feels like a step in the right direction.