Like Charles Leclerc, Romain Grosjean or Lewis Hamilton before him, the Chinese driver owes a proud debt to the steel hoop installed above the cockpit of the single-seaters.
The halo, this titanium hoop placed above the cockpit of Formula 1 cars to protect the driver, again fulfilled its role on Sunday during the spectacular accident which occurred a few seconds after the start of the British GP, at Silverstone.
“I’m OK, everything is clear. The halo saved mesaid Chinese driver Zhou Guanyu on his Twitter account shortly after leaving the British circuit’s medical centre. “It’s never nice to see such things and today the halo was again proven to improve safety enormouslysaid Dutch driver Max Verstappen. “I think without him, Zhou would be in a whole different state.“.
According to the images of the accident which occurred at the start of this 10th round of the F1 championship, the single-seaters of Pierre Gasly (AlphaTauri), George Russell (Mercedes) and Zhou Guanyu (Alfa Romeo) came into contact at the approaching the first turn. Zhou Guanyu’s single-seater left the track, turned around to finish its race on the other side of the safety barriers, against the fences separating the track from the spectators.
Formula 1: the impressive crash of Zhou Guanyu in ten photos
In this very violent shock, the halo, this piece of titanium weighing less than 10 kilos designed to withstand a weight of twelve tonnes, once again proved its usefulness and effectiveness. Since its introduction for the 2018 season in F1, this appendage has fully played its role on several occasions.
As in 2018 at the Belgian Grand Prix when, hit by the German Nico Hülkenberg (Renault), Fernando Alonso’s McLaren flew away and bounced off Charles Leclerc’s Sauber. If the latter has nothing, it is largely thanks to this piece. “This is good proofof its usefulness, Alonso assured then.
Grosjean the miraculous
Like in November 2020 at the Bahrain Grand Prix, when Romain Grosjean was miraculously saved from his appalling accident thanks in particular to the halo, which preserved his head when his F1 crashed into a safety barrier at 220 km / h. Without him,he could have been beheaded“Recalls seven-time F1 world champion Lewis Hamilton.
As again in September 2021 in an impressive clash between Max Verstappen (Red Bull), then leader of the F1 championship, and his pursuer Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes), at the Italian Grand Prix at Monza, which could have had dramatic consequences without this piece. “The halo clearly saved Lewis’ life“, said that day the boss of the Mercedes team Toto Wolff.
“I was not in favor of it a few years ago but, without it, I would not be here to talk to you“, had recognized Grosjean in a video from his hospital bed. Criticized for several reasons upon its arrival, in particular for its shape of a giant flip-flop strap deemed unsightly by its detractors, and its impact on visibility for pilots and spectators, the halo therefore once again demonstrated its necessity on Sunday and its efficiency.
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