During an interview with Autosport, FIA race director Charlie Whiting stated that the halo is “probably” what prevented Alonso’s tire from making direct contact with Leclerc’s helmet, which in turn could have seriously injured the French driver.
“We’ve already had a cursory examination of the parts. A little early to say,” said Whiting. “What is clear is the significant tire marks on both the chassis and the halo. It would be a little bit speculative but you can see that it doesn’t take much imagination to think that the tire marks could have actually been on Charles’ head.”
“It would be a bit of a miracle if they weren’t, had the halo not been there.”
Whiting reiterated that the “huge extent” of tire marks indicate that the McLaren “probably would have made contact with his head,” but added “that is slightly speculative.”
“Our researchers have done a fairly detailed report on it, an internal report of course, but all we’re trying to do is gather as much, because we’re in the process of beginning development on ‘halo 4’, so the more information we can get the better.”
“We’ve taken lots of photographs and our researchers will be contacting Sauber just to make sure we understand [the crash consequences].”
Whiting’s team will want to learn about the shape of all the fixings and bolts, in order to see if the structure has been distorted at all.
Even if Alonso’s wheel wouldn’t have reached Leclerc’s helmet (halo or not), similar incidents can always occur, where the car flying overhead is just a tiny bit lower – enough so as to make contact with another driver’s head.