Halo praised for potentially life-saving role in F2 crash

Formula Two

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The FIA is taking a close look into a Formula Two crash to judge what role the Halo safety system might have played in protecting one of the drivers.

Nirei Fukuzumi’s car made contact with the Halo on rival Tadasuke Makino’s car when the pair collided at turn four during today’s F2 sprint race. Makino’s Halo bore clear evidence of the contact.

Halo, which has been introduced in F1 and F2 this year, is intended to give drivers greater head protection in collisions including those where one car lands on top of another. FIA safety delegate Charlie Whiting said his initial impression of the crash was that Fukuzumi’s car had been supported by the Halo on Makino’s.

“One [car] got up over the other one. I couldn’t quite see how it happened, but when you look at the tyre marks on the bodywork behind and down the side of the Halo, where the tyre marks start on the Halo is exactly where one of the two test loads is applied,” said Whiting.

“We will do an incident investigation on that. Judging by the photos we’ve seen and the accident itself of course, it looks very much as if it could have been a lot worse without Halo.”

“Even if it didn’t actually save his life it could’ve been nasty without a Halo, judging by the track of the tyre marks,” he added.

Roberto Merhi onboard, 2018
Onboard footage from Roberto Merhi’s car shows how the two made contact

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27 comments on “Halo praised for potentially life-saving role in F2 crash”

  1. Good to hear that despite not being pretty it does its job!

    1. That skidmark on it though, could have been a hit on the helmet.

      1. I saw some pictures elsewhere and a clip of the incident from robertos onboard. The halo was certainly hit, and it withstood the weight of the car. However I highly doubt that the halo saved the other japanese driver. Because of the geometry of the roll hoop and side impact protection, the car would ve slid through the top and away from the car, rather than collecting the car from being stricking the halo. Like coulthard wurz.

        1. @peartree looking at the latest close picture as well as @phylyp video link below it looks like it could have been a hit on the helmet though (or agonizingly close to):

          https://cdn-2.motorsport.com/images/mgl/2d5wRMDY/s8/fia-f2-barcelona-2018-damage-to-the-car-and-halo-of-tadasuke-makino.jpg

  2. This makes me curious – what is the protocol for an impact on the halo? Is it written off after such an incident (i.e. like a helmet)? What about the stressed points on the car where the halo is mounted, do they need replacement?

    I await a more detailed FIA report, it would definitely be interesting. Let’s hope it’s clear and frank and refrains from too much back slapping, though.

    I agree with @spoutnik on both his points – good that it seems to have done the job, and yes, the downward slope of the halo towards the rear does seem to expose the helmet a bit for a T-bone type of crash – will be interesting to see what the FIA have to say about this as well.

  3. Video clip of the incident: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4lZEwfaLNbE

    (Let’s see how long this stays until its pulled down)

    1. Replay of the crash as seen from the following car starts at 1:30. (Same viewpoint as the screen grab shown above).

  4. Even if people want to debate that without the halo it still wouldn’t have made contact with the driver’s head, it’s way too close for comfort. We’re talking inches from a driver’s head.

    The halo isn’t pretty, but we’re getting an amazing season of F1 at the minute. The slight visual detraction isn’t ruining that. Another driver taking a serious head injury would.

    I honestly think at this point anyone still opposed to the halo is just too stubborn to accept the racing is as good as ever, and the protection is worth a slightly odd aesthetic we’ll all get used to.

    1. Fully agree, @philipgb.

      Seeing as the flavour of the day is Grosjean, one only has to look back at the crash he triggered at Spa in 2012, and how close a car came to Alonso’s head. Seeing that onboard replay still gives me a creepy feeling.

      I honestly think at this point anyone still opposed to the halo is just too stubborn

      Ah great, you’re going to bring all the people sputtering about “DNA” :-)

      1. DocNuke (@)
        13th May 2018, 21:22

        I would like to add in I think it was Hungary a few years ago when Button and I think Kimmi had one car sitting on top of the other for a few meters with the tire a hair away from the helmet of one of them. I agree with the Spa accident in 2012. That was too close for comfort to be able to accept that as a normal.

        With the wreck today and the entire hub assembly coming off onto the track despite the lanyards is more to think about the “what ifs”. Today was another case in if something could go wrong it would, but thankfully all it was is just a couple of cars were damaged.

        1. I would like to add in I think it was Hungary a few years ago when Button and I think Kimmi had one car sitting on top of the other for a few meters with the tire a hair away from the helmet of one of them.

          Austria (2015), Alonso and Räikkönen.

    2. @philipgb I agree but this incident is probably not the one that justifies the halo.

      1. @peartree

        Like I said, even if this incident wouldn’t have involved a head injury with no halo, it’s so close that you can attribute that to dumb luck. These kind of near misses are so common it’s a matter of time until one did.

        What we do have in this incident is an illustration that the halo can deflect away from the driver so that won’t happen, and anyone who wants to say the racing is worse with the halo is clearly watching a different season to rest of us.

    3. I also agree.

  5. I’m getting more and more used to the halo visually. By the end of the season, I think cars in old races will seem a bit weird without it.

    1. @krommenaas – I was catching up on F2 from last year (to get a handle on Leclerc, and because it’s a great series) and it took me a while before I realised why the cars looked so odd. It seems that I am already completely used to the halo.

  6. As someone firmly against the halo before the season started, I have to admit I think I was wrong. I still worry about extraction time, but visually it could be worse and incidents like this one (and with Grosjean still doing his thing), I’m pleased Halo is on the cars.

    1. @john-h Good of you to keep an open mind, unlike many who dig in their heels on an opinion. Let’s see what the FIA study of this incident shows us as well.

    2. I like your way of thinking. Cheers!

  7. The halo is far from the drivers head, the side protection could do the same job. If you watch the raikkonen & alonso the halo would be hitted too and still far from the head.

    1. Exactly. Just because it’s sticking out, sitting on top of cockpit sides, doesn’t mean without it outcome would be any different.

  8. Michael Brown (@)
    13th May 2018, 23:37

    Looked to me like a case of wheels interlocking, like Maldonado’s collision with Hamilton in Valencia 2012 and Maldonado flipping Gutierrez in Bahrain 2014.

  9. Based Halo potentially saving life. In the same vein we have to be grateful that Pirelli brought different tyres to Spanish GP, so we avoided potentially life-threatening tyre explosion due to excessive blistering. I’m sure everyone agrees with that, right?

  10. A wheel and tire came off Hulkenberg’s car in the 1st lap incident in the F1 race. That a reminder that a loose tire/wheel is still a real danger and that is the primary motivation for implementing the halo.

  11. Halo sucks.
    Cant wait for Spa and Austin.

    1. @marksch, if it is the case that the halo did successfully protect Makino in that accident, are you saying that you are so obsessed with your hatred of the halo that you would prefer to see Makino being injured instead?

  12. I don’t buy it, al accidents like this in the past were near misses and now all of a sudden halo is saving lives left right and center. I don’t mind the halo, i’m used to it now and it doesn’t distract me from the racing. But i’m still not convinced that it doesn’t have just as much potential to cause injury as it has to prevent. I just dont buy people saying, see halo just saved another life.

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