Halo likely saved Leclerc from debris strike - Whiting

Halo likely saved Leclerc from debris strike - Whiting

Halo likely saved Leclerc from debris strike - Whiting

Fernando Alonso's Belgian Grand Prix ended in a terrifying crash similar to the incident at the same circuit which cost him the 2012 world championship.

The Renault driver started at the back after taking an engine penalty, but as the pack approached Turn 1, Hulkenberg locked-up and ploughed into the rear of Fernando Alonso's McLaren, forcing him into the air and over Charles Leclerc's vehicle.

While many drivers and fans were against the introduction of the halo system this season - with some seeing it as unsightly and a hindrance - many have praised it for appearing to save Leclerc from serious injury on Sunday.

"I saw Hulkenberg in the mirrors with all four tyres locked and he was coming at a very high speed", Alonso said after the early retirement from the race.

Indeed, images of Leclerc's white halo - the three-pronged cockpit protection device which sits above the driver and became mandatory this season - later emerged to reveal the black marks of Alonso's McLaren.

Leclerc, Alonso and Hulkenberg all retired from the race on lap 1, and Kimi Raikkonen later retired due to issues stemming from a lap-1 incident.

Leclerc's Halo bore the scars of contact from Alonso's auto, highlighting just how fortunate the Monegasque driver had been to escape the incident unhurt.

I felt the impact, but it wasn't that big in the vehicle.

Lewis Hamilton celebrates with the trophy on the podium after winning the Hungarian Grand Prix at the Hungaroring near Budapest to extend his title lead over Sebastian Vettel to 24 points
Fernando Alonso involved in a major crash at Spa

The halo forms a semi-circular barrier around the driver's helmet in the front half of the cockpit, protecting the head without completely closing the cockpit. It could have been very nasty.

"It doesn't take much imagination to think the tire marks could have actually been on Charles' head".

"I think what is clear is the significant tyre marks on both the chassis and the halo", said Charlie Whiting.

"It looks like it's had a fairly hefty whack".

"It would have been a miracle if they weren't, had the Halo not been there".

Hulkenberg received a 10-place grid penalty at the next race for the incident, but all three were uninjured.

Speaking after the accident, Alonso made a comparison with the huge accident triggered by Romain Grosjean at the same corner in 2012.

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