The Formula 1 lived a real miracle last Sunday after Romain grosjean had a very serious accident in which he saved his life. However, (in addition to the doctors) there was a safety device that was essential so that today we were talking about an anecdote and not about a fatal accident in the category: the controversial HALO.
The HALO entered Formula 1 in 2018, and it was highly controversial. Grosjean himself acknowledged that he was highly critical of the introduction of the device in single-seaters. At the time, it was said that this made it difficult for drivers to see, complicated the rescue of drivers in the event of an accident, and that the aesthetics of cars were affected. The HALO slammed into the containment barriers and they were opened, saving Grosjean’s life.
The HALO is a safety system that is part of the pilot’s head protection and is located in the cockpit. They are three titanium bars joined to cover (not completely) the helmet of the competitors. There are different ways to protect the head of the pilots. For example in IndyCar a very similar design called Aeroscreen, which has a protector in the car cabin.
Over the years it was found that the HALO saved the lives of several pilots since its introduction. In 2018 two pilots of Formula 2 they had a touch in which one of the cars got up and if the device was not present, the rear wheel was going to impact directly on the head of one of the competitors. Something similar happened to Charles Leclerc, when Fernando Alonso it flew over his car and hit the HALO.
According to experts, if the HALO had been present in the accident of Jules bianchi, at the 2014 Japanese Grand Prix, the team driver Marussia I would have saved his life. Bianchi hit a rescue crane on the Suzuka Circuit with his head and was left in serious condition. He finally passed away nine months later. It is the first death since Ayrton senna in 1994.