Fernando Alonso, McLaren, Albert Park, 2016

Halo would have been “welcome” in crash – Alonso

2016 Australian Grand Prix

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Fernando Alonso says he would have welcomed the extra protection offered by a Halo system during his aerial crash in the Australian Grand Prix.

The FIA is considering whether to introduce a version of the head protection device, which Ferrari ran during testing, on F1 cars in 2017.

Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, Circuit de Catalunya, 2016
Ferrari tested the Halo in Spain
Alonso, who suffered injuries in the crash which will keep him out of this weekend’s race, said his first priority afterwards was to get out of the car as quickly as possible, and doesn’t think the Halo would have impeded that.

“You just try to go out of the car and at that point you just want to put the feet on the ground and walk away,” he said. “This is the only thing you are thinking at that moment.”

“About the Halo system, I don’t know if I could get out of the car as quick as I did. I guess so because I’m sure that the system is designed looking at all the scenarios.”

His McLaren team mate Jenson Button pointed out it is seldom necessary for drivers to get out of their cockpits in a hurry after crashes.

Alonso said he would have felt better protected by a Halo when his car was launched into the air.

“Probably my only concern when I was rolling over was just to avoid hitting the head,” he explained. “Obviously I was very tight on the belts and I was flying, but I didn’t feel any risk at all in the middle of the accident, apart from my head that I wanted not to crash with anyone.”

“So the Halo was probably very welcome in my accident as well because I will avoid that concern when I’m flying.”

2016 Australian Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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18 comments on “Halo would have been “welcome” in crash – Alonso”

  1. What about paving the run off area? Seems to me that the car was tipped into the roll by the edge puff the gravel trap. It would still have been a big shunt by the car might not have rolled.

    1. the gravel traps lowers the speed of vehicles, you’d need waay larger run offs with tarmac (I’m figuring at least)

      on another note, I don’t get how people can be against the halo. It’s a solution which detracts nothing at all from racing… the only argument is that it looks kinda funky, but modern F1 cars aren’t any beautiful machines from the start so there’s nothing to ruin

      1. If anything, I think that the Halo improves the look of the current cars. I imagine a librarian now wearing stylish glasses…

      2. Alonso would have had a huge crash but if it was across tarmac and into a big Tecpro barrier, I think he’d be racing this weekend. Tarmac replacing gravel is fine because it reduces the chance of cars flipping and doesn’t result in cars getting beached – it’s the exits to corners that needs to be looked at. Perhaps we could use grass or a type of artificial turf on exits to corners where there isn’t much risk? Something that provides reduced traction without sending the cars into a spin or into the air.

        1. he barely had any tyres on left, he could barely brake. Tarmac would have meant a crash with CRAZY g forces. Gravel saved his life by slowing the car (with lesser G) when he last bounced.

      3. @dr-jekyll Gravel seems to work on large, heavy (and usually slower) vehicles as the likelihood of them flipping is lower as their tires/tyres dig in. F1 cars, being so light, tend to skim across like rocks on a pond, until something solid (major CF structure) catches. When they catch in-line with the longitude of the car (i.e. directly forward or backward) the wheelbase of the car seems to keep everything planted. However, off-angles (i.e. anything other than above) can flip the car. Skimming on gravel or tarmac does not slow you down as fast as non-locked brakes on tarmac. And skimming on gravel risks a flip or at best usually beaches you in a dangerous position.

        Alonso’s front end had no working wheels before he made it to the corner so gravel or hypothetical tarmac, he was likely going to hit something at a considerable speed. With tarmac, I think he likely would have done so at least upright.

        I’m not for eliminating how punishing corners are if you get them wrong, but I’m not sure gravel at the end of high-speed braking zones is still a viable solution.

        1. Agreed, tarmac would have been better, but I’m not sure you go far enough. The rear wheel brakes would have certainly benefitted from not being 6ft in the air.

    2. Morningvidw66
      31st March 2016, 18:55

      I’m not quite certain the car wasn’t about to roll anyway.
      The gravel trap did what it was supposed to and slowed the car taking out energy. He would have hit the barriers at the end at some serious speed otherwise.

    3. Apex Assassin
      31st March 2016, 21:18

      New to racing i see. See everyone else’s comments.

      1. > New to racing I see…

        Or, y’know, he looks around at just about EVERY OTHER CIRCUIT ON THE F1 CALENDAR and sees acres upon acres of tarmac in the runoff area and wonders “Hm, why isn’t this one paved?”

        One of the two.

      2. RaceProUK (@)
        1st April 2016, 2:56

        Given your comment history Apex, you’re not in a position to criticise anyone

  2. Apex Assassin
    31st March 2016, 21:19

    I can’t see how the halo would have helped at all. It certainly wouldn’t have prevented knee and rib injuries and there has been ZERO crash testing so it’s all speculation.

    1. Maybe Alonso was referring to a Placebo effect of having something covering his head in his situation. I’m sure a hoop will have helped absorb some of any initial impact… but if that impact breaks the hoop, now the hoop can become the projectile he needs to worry about not being able to avoid?

    2. It seems to me that Alonso doesn’t want to talk about the Halo but the reporter was asking about it. His statement feels so politically correct, which in essence just “No, I feel fine after the crash. Halo? Oh yeah I think that doesn’t matter. Oh wait, let me think few words to support it and make you (the reporter) happy.”

      Halo or any safety improvement is good for F1, but I bet Alonso will be sick hearing of it for few weeks ahead.

    3. RaceProUK (@)
      1st April 2016, 2:59

      there has been ZERO crash testing

      That you know of.

      Footage of F1 crash tests isn’t published, but we all know it happens. Or do you simply ignore everything that doesn’t happen right in front of you?

    4. He directly explains in the article above,

      “Probably my only concern when I was rolling over was just to avoid hitting the head”

      He didn’t hit his head, but that was a significant worry. So he’d have liked to have the halo.

  3. It was a horrific crash. Obviously he thought about the extra protection while flipping through the air. In this case, as it turned out, didn’t have an impact on the end result. A slightly different trajectory into the barriers could have been very bad. All avid f1 fans know the roll hoop to front body structure will protect the head but and I say BUT, that’s only in the case of landing on a flat surface inverted. Alonso could have landed on the wall barriers with a slightly different angle and it would have been a very bad outcome. Another view of the situation, which I thought at the time, is he would’ve had a difficult time getting out quickly with any halo device due to being inverted like he was. F1 is unique in regards to the dangers of open cockpits. Open wheel Indy cars on an oval track is basically retarded. Massa being hit in the head by a suspension spring is a huge crazy ass fluke. I’m sorry and feel horrible about bringing up JB crash at Suzuka. The halo wouldn’t be strong enough to take that kind of impact in that situation. An absolutely crazy set of circumstances. It’s practically impossible to eliminate all the dangers of F1 racing AND racing in general regardless of what series it is. Racing will ALWAYS be dangerous and that’s the one element that drives most of these immortal gods of speed. The adrenaline rush in that kind of environment is unimaginable to me. I seek that rush constantly with my Motorsport toys. I know I know it’s not the same by far but if any of you have ridden a modified stand up jetski in class 2,3 & 4 whitewater rapids that’s a hell of a adrenaline rush. But NOT even close to F1 or MotoGP. They’re are absolutely insane for seeking that rush and glory of winning.

  4. They had a fire and a flipover in one race. They are loaded with a ton of fuel and designed to break apart. Only a matter of time before both happen to one car.

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