This year’s Belgian Grand Prix featured a horrific first-corner incident, where Fernando Alonso’s McLaren was rear-ended by Nico Hulkenberg and propelled up and over Leclerc’s Sauber, making contact with his Halo device.
While it’s unclear whether or not the McLaren’s wheel would have actually hit Leclerc’s helmet had it not been for the Halo, the fact that such incidents can clearly happen is reason enough to have a cockpit protection system in place.
“Definitely, the halo probably helped today,” stated Leclerc during his post-race media interview, while Alonso called the incident “good proof” of the efficacy of the system.
Even 2016 world champion Nico Rosberg took to Twitter in order to praise the technology, writing: “We can end the HALO discussion now. It will save lives!”
Meanwhile, ex-driver Felipe Massa added that “after seeing this, we can say the halo is beautiful!” while Anthony Davidson, who was involved in testing the Halo system before its implementation, told Sky F1 viewers that “We all have to say and admit in a way that the halo did its job today and we now have to appreciate the reason why it’s on the car.”
As for why the crash happened in the first place, it was due to Nico Hulkenberg locking up his Renault into turn 1, hitting Alonso and the rest was history.
For his actions, Hulkenberg has been given a 10-place grid penalty for next weekend’s Italian Grand Prix, as stewards found the incident similar to the 2012 Belgian GP crash that resulted in Romain Grosjean receiving a one race ban.