Anton Andres / Formula 1 | August 28, 2018 08:21
First lap smash shows Halo saving Charles Leclerc
When the Halo was first shown in Formula 1, it's safe to say that there were detractors for the safety device.
During the 2018 Belgian Grand Prix however, the Halo just proved itself after a harrowing incident between Nico Hulkenberg, Fernando Alonso and Charles Leclerc. It happened at the very first corner of Spa-Francorchamps and the crash is reminiscent of the huge smash back in 2012 which, coincidentally, also involved Alonso.
With 20 cars piling into the hairpin, Nico Hulkenberg hit the brakes a little too late, sparking a chain reaction which wiped out a fair amount of drivers out of the field. Hulkenberg slammed into the back of Fernando Alonso, launching him into the air. He then landed right on top of the car of Charles Leclerc.
“I saw Nico in the mirrors coming with all four wheels locked, at a very high speed. He completely missed the braking point by a long way, not just a couple of metres. There was no way I could avoid that, then I felt the impact and flew over Charles’ car. Nico played bowling a little bit with us today,” said Alonso. Scuff marks on Leclerc's Halo did indeed prove that Alonso's car came close to striking the young driver on the head.
Charles Leclerc went on Twitter to say that his opinion on the Halo has changed. "End of the race in the 1st corner. Frustrating. Never been a fan of the halo but I have to say that I was very happy to have it over my head today!" said the Sauber rookie.
The incident also involved Daniel Ricciardo and Kimi Raikkonen to a lesser extent. Alonso's flying McLaren hit the back of Ricciardo's Red Bull, which then pinged him to the rear of Raikkonen. Both would eventually retire from the race due to car damage.
Hulkenberg on the other hand got slapped with a hefty 10-place grid penalty for the next race for causing a collision.
As for the rest of the race, Sebastian Vettel drove away from the pack to win this year's Belgian Grand Prix.