Title rivals Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen gave themselves too little space in the first chicane of the Italian Grand Prix. As a result, the Red Bull from Verstappen was launched on the Mercedes of the world champion. The RB16B’s rear wheel then struck Hamilton’s helmet, but most of the impact was absorbed by the W12’s Halo.
After the crash, Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff said the Halo had “absolutely” saved Hamilton’s life, while the seven-time world champion himself said he was “huge” and that he had an angel on his shoulder in Italy on Sunday. .
Bad luck, but science
Before the Halo entered Formula 1 service in 2018, Cranfield University’s cockpit protection system underwent an extensive program of testing and research. Clive Temple, the college professor who oversees all motorsport projects, believes science saved the life of the seven-time world champion, not just luck.
“Hamilton was unlucky,” Temple said. “Engineering and science are the basis of all the work that ensures the safety of drivers. Safety is the number one concern in motorsport.
“The Halo was introduced in 2018 and immediately proved its worth that year, when Charles Leclerc drove his Alfa Romeo [bij de start van de Grand Prix van België] was protected from Alonso’s flying McLaren. Then we had the fireball incident with Grosjean in November of last year. Here too, the Halo has proven its added value, as have other safety measures like the deformable nose, helmet safety systems and the crash barriers themselves.
“The Halo has since proven to be one of the key safety features for drivers of all single-seaters, from Formula 1 to Formula 4. This crash has shown once again that the Halo is incredibly strong and made. integral part of safety. parts of the car, “continues Temple.” Verstappen’s car that landed on Hamilton’s car is more or less equivalent to the weight of a London double-decker bus.
Chief Strategy Officer James Vowles also highlighted the Halo’s value in Mercedes’ regular debriefing video: “This is a testament to all the safety measures Formula 1 has put in place over the years,” said Vowles. This case really saved his life. helmet took the hit and did so without injuring Hamilton. The HANS system also worked as it should. All three of these left Lewis a little stiff, but otherwise unscathed. “
VIDEO: Mercedes looks back at the Italian GP
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