Did F1’s Halo Save This Driver’s Life During Ugly Wreck In Belgian GP?

If there were any remaining doubters of Formula One’s “halo” safety device, they likely were silenced Sunday morning.

The cockpit protector, which some believe is both ugly as well as distracting for drivers, was divisive before F1 announced plans to implement it for the 2018 season, and has remained a point of contention during its first year on the grid. But a nasty crash involving Fernando Alonso and Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team’s Charles Leclerc in Sunday’s Belgian Grand Prix end the debate once and for all.

Renault F1 driver Nico Hulkenberg missed his breaking point on Turn 1 of Lap 1 at Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps and and collided with Alonso, launching the McLaren F1 Team driver into the air. Alonso’s car then deflected off Leclerc’s before landing and sliding off the track.

All three drivers were OK after the wreck. But that might not have been the case if it weren’t for “halo,” which protected Leclerc’s head from Alonso’s tire.

Check out this on-board view of Leclerc:

If that replay doesn’t convince you “halo” saved Leclerc’s life, this photo should:

Talk about a close call.

Here’s another view of the crash, along with post-race remarks from Leclerc, Alonso and Hulkenberg:

Is “halo” pretty? No, and indeed it makes the cars look like flip-flops. But drivers likely will take safety over style any day, especially after seeing what happened Sunday in Belgium.

As for the race, Scuderia Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel took the checkered flag, finishing ahead of Mercedes-AMG Petronas’ Lewis Hamilton and Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen. Hamilton and Mercedes, however, still lead the Drivers and Constructors Championships, respectively.

Thumbnail photo via Twitter/F1

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