Belgium Grand Prix Reminds Us Why They Pushed Through the Formula 1 Halo Safety Device
Formula 1 has taken a lot of pushback from drivers and others on its “halo” safety device. However, a collision from the Belgium Grand Prix has shown that, at least for driver Charles Leclerc, it’s a good thing that F1 kept with it.
Just watch this video from F1’s twitter account.
— Formula 1 (@F1) August 27, 2018
And here it is from a different, somewhat better angle.
Please note that at the beginning of the video, Leclerc’s halo is nice and pristine white, and after Fernando Alonso does his grand jeté over the car, half of it is nice and black. Based on the second video, that black smudge was pretty close to being in Leclerc’s face.
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As a reminder, the halo is that semi-circle flip-flop-looking thing around the driver’s head. These devices are new for the 2018 season, over the protests of most F1 teams. At the time, teams argued that the halo wouldn’t necessarily increase safety, as the crash that precipitated the new equipment back in 2014 was the first such death from an on-track incident since 1994, and halo critics generally called it a freak accident.
Part of the argument was over whether removing that element of risk and danger would compromise the identity of Formula 1 in general. Some feel that adding a somewhat ugly safety element was hurting the identity of high-speed open-wheel racing.
Either way, we have to imagine that Charles Leclerc will not be among those vocal detractors.