‘Alonso crash strong evidence for halo’

Date published: March 26 2016 - Editor

Allan McNish believes Fernando Alonso's Melbourne crash is why F1 needs 'halo' as the device would have offered extra head protection when his car hit the wall.

In the wake of the Spaniard's horrific crash at the Australian Grand Prix, in which his McLaren flipped twice before coming to a halt on its side against the wall, some suggested that halo could have caused more problems than good as he would not have been able to exit the car on his own.

However, former F1 racer McNish says on the contrary it should rather be used as "very strong evidence" as to why the sport should press on with plans to introduce the cockpit protection device in 2017.

"The issue raised was the potential problems that a driver might have in getting out of an upturned car if it was fitted with a device such as the "halo" that is planned for introduction in 2017," he wrote in his BBC column.

"To my mind, the accident was very strong evidence as to why it is vital for F1 to keep working on cockpit safety.

"First of all, it is important to say that a driver can get out of the car with the halo fitted – it has been specifically designed that way.

"In fact, the scariest aspect of Alonso's accident was how close the car was to the wall when it came to rest upside down – and by extension how close his head came to hitting it.

"So any structure that further protects the driver's head in that scenario, or any other in which an object could hit it, has got to be a good thing.

"This is not a dissimilar situation to the accident that killed Brazilian Marco Campos in a Formula 3000 race at Magny-Cours in 1994. His car flipped and landed upside down on the concrete wall beside the track.

"Even if a driver was stuck in an upturned car as a result of having extra protection, it is much better to wait and be extracted correctly by the appropriate medically trained people than to have a serious head injury."