Lewis Hamilton was "not lucky" to survive his crash with Max Verstappen at the Italian Grand Prix because of the "engineering and science" that underpins safety developments in F1.
In the low-speed collision at Monza, Verstappen's Red Bull was thrown into the air by a sausage kerb and landed on the top of Hamilton's Mercedes. His car then rolled forward with one of the Dutchman's tyres making contact with Hamilton's helmet.
Hamilton later revealed to having a sore neck after the impact, stating "it felt like someone was watching over me".
Despite this contact with the head of a driver, Clive Temple, Motorsport MSc Programme Director and Senior Lecturer at the Advanced Vehicle Engineering Centre at Cranfield University where the halo was extensively tested, ruled: “Hamilton was not lucky.
"It is a fact that engineering and science underpin all of this work which ensures drivers are safe. Safety is the primary concern in motorsport.
“The Halo was introduced in 2018 and proved its worth in that season when Charles Leclerc, who was then driving for Alfa Romeo, was protected from Alonso’s flying McLaren.
"We also had the Grosjean fireball incident in November 2020 and again the Halo came to the fore there along with other safety measures such as the deformable nose cone protection, in-helmet safety system and the barrier, itself."
Halo "integral" to motorsport safety
The halo was the subject of much derision when introduced in 2018 due to its unappealing aesthetic but after proving its worth on a number of occasions has been widely accepted.
“It’s been shown that the Halo is now one of the major safety devices that has served all drivers who are racing single-seaters from F1 all the way through to Formula 4," continued Temple.
“As this crash has proven, the Halo is exceptionally strong and is integral to other safety-critical elements within the car.
"Hamilton experiencing Verstappen’s car coming on top is probably around the equivalent of close to a London double-decker bus landing on top of the car.
“The current Halo is designed to withstand 100 kilonewtons – 10.2 tonnes – and a modern double-decker is around 12 tonnes or so.
"10.2 tonnes is also the equivalent of two African elephants landing on the race car. This is a very strong structure indeed."
Alongside the new aerodynamic era of F1 next year, Temple confirmed an upgraded halo is also set to be introduced.
“We’re moving towards Halo 4 which will feature in the new season for the 2022 F1 cars," he said.
"This will represent a further development of the Halo concept and an even stronger device."
What do you think?
I don't think many F1 fans thought much about the Halo when first proposed, but its proven its self over & over again.
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