F1 News - Leclerc's life 'could have been saved' by protection
Fernando Alonso said Formula 1's 'halo' head protection system could have saved Charles Leclerc in a huge crash at the Belgian Grand Prix.
The Spaniard's McLaren landed on top of Leclerc's Sauber after being launched into the air by Renault's Nico Hulkenberg, who missed his braking point at the first corner.
Photographs and television replays show Alonso's car being deflected by the halo, which had impact marks on it afterwards.
"I saw the replay and I saw how good was the proof for the halo," Alonso said.
"We didn't need any proof but it is a good thing."
The halo was a controversial introduction to F1 this season, with a significant minority of the drivers feeling it was not needed and many fans objecting to its appearance. There was also a feeling in some quarters that it was diluting F1's ethos as an open-cockpit formula.
Alonso, who was one of the majority of drivers in favour of the halo's introduction, added: "The positive side is we are all three OK, especially Charles. I flew over his car and the halo was a good thing to have today."
Leclerc added: "If today it has been useful or not, I don't know. I don't know what would have happened without it but in some cases it is definitely helpful."
Hulkenberg was handed a 10-place grid penalty at the next race in Italy this coming weekend, as well as three licence penalty points, bringing his total to four of the 12 permitted before a race ban.
Hulkenberg said he was "disappointed and frustrated" with himself for the incident.
He added: "I don't want that for myself, for Fernando, for everyone. It is a shame and very bitter to take that and difficult to swallow and be out in lap one after the summer break.
"It caught me by surprise. I just misjudged my braking point a little bit and there was no real time to recover it."
Alonso likened the incident to the one at the same race in 2012, when then Lotus driver Romain Grosjean was given a race ban for causing a similar incident, in which the Spaniard was also innocently involved.
Speaking before Hulkenberg's penalty was announced, Alonso said: "That time Romain had a race ban. This time, we'll see. It is tough to understand how you can miss (your braking) so much.
"It is not a couple of metres, you arrive at a speed that it is impossible to negotiate the corner. So, sad for that but happy that we are all fine."
The stewards took into account the Grosjean incident but pointed out in their verdict that at the time the penalty point system had not been introduced.
via BBC Sport - Formula 1 https://ift.tt/OHg7x6
August 26, 2018 at 01:24PM
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