Fernando Alonso’s spectacular crash at Sunday’s Belgian Grand Prix reignited the debate around driver safety, specifically the new “halo.” Built around the cockpit to protect drivers from debris, it appeared to come to the rescue of Charles Leclerc as Alonso’s airborne car bounced off it and over him.
It was the second serious incident Alonso has been involved in as many years, although his crash at the 2016 was arguably worse. After colliding with Esteban Gutierrez, Alonso’s car hit the wall at 200mph, flipping through the air before coming to rest upside down. “I’m lucky to be here and thankful to be here,” Alonso said after the crash.
Ayrton Senna’s death during the 1994 San Marino GP, the day after fellow driver Roland Ratzenberger was killed in qualifying, shocked the world. A three-time world champion, the Brazilian is still regarded as one of the greatest drivers ever. Senna’s death resulted in widespread changes, including limiting engine size and power and raised cockpits sides to offer drivers more protection. Suspension also changed to prevent wheels from becoming disconnected from the front wing.
Photos: F1’s most signifcant accidents.
Though it has been a divisive addition to Formula One cars this season, the “halo” proved its worth on Sunday during a spectacular opening-corner crash at the Belgian Grand Prix.