Fernando Alonso, McLaren, Spa-Francorchamps, 2018

Hulkenberg still has “mixed feelings” over Halo despite its role in Leclerc crash

2018 Italian Grand Prix

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Nico Hulkenberg said the Halo did a “very good job” protecting Charles Leclerc in his crash at Spa but admits he still has “mixed feelings” over the device.

Leclerc’s Halo was struck Fernando Alonso’s front-right wheel after the McLaren driver was hit from behind by Hulkenberg.

The Renault driver has previously said he is “not a big fan” of Halo and criticised its appearance. Asked by RaceFans in today’s FIA press conference whether he’d changed his mind about Halo due to its role in Leclerc’s crash with Fernando Alonso, Hulkenberg said he’s “still not a big fan of the Halo device”.

However, he added: “I have to see the facts and admit it does bring something to Formula 1 especially the safety that we appreciate in the car. Mixed feelings about it still. But it’s not down to me anyway. It is what it is.”

Hulkenberg admitted the Halo has “proven pretty useful and a good device.

“We can only speculate what would have happened without it but it looked pretty clear from the point the tyre marks were all over the Halo and from that point of view it’s done a very good job to keep the head safe.”

Leclerc said he wasn’t sure if Halo had protected him in his crash. “If it has helped or not in Spa I have no idea but in some circumstances it can help,” he said. “So I think it’s a good thing to have.”

“To be honest [the crash] looked a lot bigger on TV than it actually was,” he added. “I felt, obviously, Fernando going over me. But it was not like it was a big, big shock.

“The only thing I had in my mind is I was just hoping for some miracle that the car was not damaged enough to go back to the pits. But obviously when I looked in my mirrors again I saw everything was gone so I couldn’t. I just found a way to stop the car and that’s it.

“The images look very spectacular but from inside the car it was not such a big shunt.”

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4 comments on “Hulkenberg still has “mixed feelings” over Halo despite its role in Leclerc crash”

  1. That’s the sound of a guy having successfully cornered himself into an indefensible stand.

  2. The don’t feel so much because they move all towards the same direction (just physics) but the rollcage did all the hard work.

  3. So *maybe* the halo didn’t save LeClerc from serious injury this time? It’s obvious that at the very least, it would have been a close call without the halo: maybe just inches. Do we really need to wait for the perfect storm of an injury or death without the halo to be convinced that it’s an effective safety device (despite the aesthetic objections)? Or does F1 really need to be a blood sport for a lot of fans?

    1. Yes, agree, even if unsure he’d have died or got injured without, it was close enough.

      On another note, I saw leclerc was trying to go back to the pits immediately after the crash, then he must’ve noticed the rear wing was gone.

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