Halo device saves two more lives after horror F1 Academy shunt

Jamie Woodhouse
Red Bull's Max Verstappen wins the Italian Grand Prix. Monza, September 2022.

Red Bull's Max Verstappen wins the Italian Grand Prix. Monza, September 2022.

Both Chloe Grant and Bianca Bustamante have lauded the life-saving protection of the Halo device after escaping major injury in a scary incident.

F1 Academy is a new female racing category founded by Formula 1, with 2023 marking the first series of its existence.

The goal for F1 Academy is to help provide a clearer pathway for female racers to climb the junior ladder on the eventual path to Formula 1.

Chloe Grant and Bianca Bustamante involved in major shunt

The latest round of the 2023 F1 Academy season saw the drivers head to Monza, home of the Italian Grand Prix, where a terrifying collision occurred on the approach to Turn 1.

Grant would be launched into the air as she made contact with a car ahead, the wheel of her ART Grand Prix car brushing over the Halo on Bustamante’s Prema, before flipping over and skidding into the run-off.

As flames began to envelop the cockpit of Grant’s car with the 17-year-old Brit trapped inside, she credited the Halo for allowing her escape from the wreckage, after which point she was taken to the medical centre for checks, where it was confirmed that she had not suffered any major injuries.

The Halo was first introduced for FIA-regulated series back in 2018, and in Formula 1, the likes of Romain Grosjean, Lewis Hamilton and Zhou Guanyu have all hailed it as a life-saver after respective incidents.

Grant and Bustamante can now be added to that list.

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“Hello everyone, I’m just letting you know that I’m okay after my race one incident,” Grant posted on Instagram.

“Thank you to everyone that’s been sending me really lovely messages. I really appreciate it.

“I’m very grateful for the Halo style system. Because of the Halo system I was able to get out without there being an issue with the fire because the fire was inside the car as well and I could see it.

“So without having the Halo there I would have been trapped and I’m very lucky and very grateful for the Halo style system to be put in place and for the F1 Academy to have it.”

Bustamante in her social media post said: “Made two positions up in the start heading to T1, I was hit from behind and the car [Chloe Grant] flew on top of me. Tyres went over my head but the Halo saved my life today.”

Grant understandably withdrew from the remainder of the Monza race weekend, but is set to return for the Paul Ricard round at the end of July.

The incident came at a very sensitive time following the recent passing of Dilano van ‘t Hoff after a crash in the wet at Spa-Francorchamps during a Formula Regional European Championship race.

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