Charles Leclerc, Sauber, Spa-Francorchamps, 2018

Verstappen says Halo did nothing for Leclerc but Ricciardo disagrees

2018 Italian Grand Prix

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Max Verstappen doesn’t believe the Halo did anything to protect Charles Leclerc in his crash last week, but fellow Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo disagrees.

The Halo on Leclerc’s car was hit by Fernando Alonso’s McLaren when they crashed at the start of the race. However Verstappen said the crash “looked worse than it actually was”.

“The car never really virtually drops on top of someone else, it would always skid over the top. But because Halo was sticking out so much, of course it gets hit.

“The more you build in front of a driver, the more chance it can get hit. I think even if the Halo hadn’t been there he wouldn’t have been hit anyway so I think they made it too dramatic.”

However Ricciardo said the Halo “did very well” and claimed the replays of the crash show Leclerc had a near miss.

“When you see what happened, I think [Brendon] Hartley’s onboard was the most telling one. You can see Alonso coming from the side, it looked like he was coming over the top but it came in from the side. It was going to be very close if the Halo wasn’t there.

“I think it did what it had to do and I think it’s nice for people who didn’t support it maybe because at least now we’ve got proof that it likely saved Charles probably a very serious injury.”

“I feel I was always ‘for’ the head protection,” he added. “I don’t think any of us were ‘for’ the look of it.

“I was always one to say, especially after [Justin] Wilson’s crash in Indy[Car], I think it was in Monza that year, it was pretty clear. I was a bit vocal about doing something.”

Kevin Magnussen, another driver who criticised the decision to introduce Halo, said he was simply relieved Leclerc was uninjured.

“Generally I’m just happy that no one got hurt. No one wants to get hurt, no one wants anyone else to get hurt.

“It doesn’t change the fact that my idea of Formula 1 idea without Halo. My idea of riding a motorbike is two wheels. But of course then you ask yourself there’s not much to do when you see a Halo just saved a life you’re not going to say ‘I wish it wasn’t there’. You’re just happy it was there.”

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Author information

Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
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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31 comments on “Verstappen says Halo did nothing for Leclerc but Ricciardo disagrees”

  1. I feel Magnussen has the better answer over Verstappen who reads like he just refuses to believe what his eyes could have seen (not saying that is what he meant). Still, I’m clearly in the same camp as Ricciardo – I do think it is good they have extra head protection, as this incident shows.

    1. Dan’s more mature and thoughtful than Max. Kids think they know everything :-). I’m with Dan re the halo.

    2. Pretty sure what’s in Max’s eyes is that stupid Halo.

  2. I think Mas was right it was the rollcage who saved Lecleric the wheel hit the halo sideways because it sticks so far out that the halo always get hit. The momentium would cause to move the car from Lecleric head but it hits the rollcage and the right wheel glimps the halo but moves from the lecleric head away.

    1. Leclerc, thankfully, is fine. Would anyone rather have had no halo and Leclerc be injured? There’s no real way to find out so erring on the side of caution and safety is the better solution. Keep the halos until something is provably better.

  3. All Verstappen mentioned was ‘it looks like they put a slipper on an F1 car, still not like it one bit’.
    Verstappen explained the drivers are so far inside the car, a car coming from behind is not likely to hit the driver, due to the Halo Alonso’s car skid off. I think Verstappen is probably righ though about Leclerc lifes wasn’t really in danger

    In the end the Halo is probably there to stay and ofcourse the FIA will use such incident to motivate their decisions.

  4. Imagine a grid girl being caught up in the halo of a pay driver’s car because she couldn’t hear the low pitched PU.
    That would be a headline story :P

    1. Like button activated!

  5. I think Sean (Shawn?) of The F1 Word said it well: “I’d much rather be debating about whether the halo has saved someone’s life than debating about whether it could have done.”

  6. Although I have no problem whatsoever with the halo, I do agree with Max that in this case nothing dramatic was prevented by it, and that the whole incident is used to much as some sort of justification for the halo.
    (I’ve seen so many similar accidents without consequences I find it hard to believe anything serious would have happened here.)
    To me it’s very simple: The halo is here, and it’s here to stay and if for some reason in the next 50 years no incident happens that would “justify” the halo, I still wouldn’t care one bit.

    1. I totally agree with you. Offcourse the halo was introduced with a lot of controversy, but it seems like fom/fia is still trying to hard to “sell” the decision to introduce the halo, while we al know it is here to stay.

  7. Fully agree with Ricciardo. Hartley’s on board is really the best view of the entire damage caused by Hulkenburg. And while it’s true that Leclerc was never gonna get hit by Alonso, still having the halo reduced the possibility to an absolute 0. Without it, Fernando’s car would have probably skidded over Leclerc’s while scraping it or it could have rested over where Leclerc’s legs were. Having halo definitely helped.

  8. I looked at the on board video and it suggested to me that the McLaren car actually cleared the Sauber, but a wheel with that was damaged but still attached to the car, hit the halo and the radio antenna. Maybe, for example, the wheel had ricocheted off the halo and hit the antenna. It’s impossible to know exactly what would have happened without halo, but I think there’s ample evidence to suggest that if halo wasn’t fitted then this crash would be another justification for better driver protection. As it is, this justifies the mandatory fitting of halo.

  9. Max is wrong. Once again.

  10. Yep, the most sense he’s spoken for a while ;)

    People are easily brainwashed though aren’t they? The halo made no difference at all in this instance and yet it’s being hailed as some sort of justification for it’s existence.

    Guess they have to justify the cost of designing it and introducing it, huh?

    1. Here’s a thought exercise. Allow the drivers to decide if they want a halo on their car. If they don’t want it equivalent ballast will be mounted appropriately so they won’t have a weight advantage. If you were a driver which would you choose? If there was just a one in a million chance of protecting my head, I’d go with the halo. You can do what you want with your head.

      1. I’m not one for lotteries, 1 in 1 mil wouldn’t be enough for me, at least 1 in 100!

  11. I never thought I’d be in agreement with Max!
    You only have to look carefully at the vids, no point arguing what’s blatantly clear.

    1. We must’ve watched different videos then. The 360 degree camera on Leclerc’s head clearly shows how close it would’ve been without the halo. What kind of animal do you have to be to say to the drivers “Meh, it’s only another life that could have been lost in F1, so not important to have a halo”?

  12. I’m sure the powers that be will have a full investigation and crash experts will use the best software to re-construct the accident. Maybe then we’ll get a conclusive answer.

  13. I don’t really see the point in having this discussion. Who cares if it helped last Sunday or not? There are certain. Cases in which it does help. So that’s it, it’s safer these days, end of discussion

  14. Do you guys speak Dutch? Why so overdramatic trying to oppose? Since changing your site names i find more and more clickbait news messages, and sincerely think that’s a pity.

  15. What a dumb thing for Max to say…. better the halo getting the “whack” than Charles’ head

    1. Hopefully Max will mature one day. Being Jos’s son, it’s doubtful.

  16. I mean how do we really know? We are all guessing but know nothing. I think its a useless question to ask if you ask me

  17. The argument is pointless because the halo doesn’t need to keep saving people’s lives to make it a necessity.
    The halo was hit by the tyre because it was there, else the mclaren would have passed by.
    But who could have predicted that accident before it happened. And just what if Leclerc’s car had already spun and facing the Alonso accident and we didn’t have the halo.
    As much as I hate the halo, anytime I remember coulthard Vs Wurz Australia 2007, I can appreciate the need for head protection.

    1. The example you made makes sense, if a car comes flying towards you and you’re facing it even with helmet and the rest it would be pretty bad without halo, which is said to be able to withstand several tons of force.

  18. @keithcollantine

    “When you see what happened, I think [Brendon] Hartley’s onboard

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    was the most telling one. You can see Alonso coming from the side, it looked like he was coming over the top but it came in from the side. It was going to be very close if the Halo wasn’t there.

    On another note while I think VES has a bit of a point I think at the end of the day as 2lunaslide quoted

    I’d much rather be debating about whether the halo has saved someone’s life than debating about whether it could have

  19. I’m with Max on this one. I saw all the phootage i could, and have not seen any video/picture indicating Leclercs helmet would have been hit.

  20. Halo Sucks.

  21. let’s hope this extra speedbump for cars that skid over the rollbar isn’t proving to be a death trap next time a car rolled over and is upside down on fire or something…

Comments are closed.