The ‘halo’ design which is on its way to be introduced next year in Formula One is now facing a new challenge after the horrific crash involving Fernando Alonso’s McLaren. Last week, the Spaniard’s car came to rest upside down, after crashing into the barrier at almost 200kmph, in the season-opening race at Melbourne.
Alonso clipped the rear of the Hass F1 car while trying to avoid him and caught air. He flipped over twice in the air before coming to rest, hitting the wall. The 34-year driver was expected to have faced force of around 46G during the crash which is being described as the biggest of his career. The FIA is to look into the details of the crash and are still waiting for all the data to be gathered.
Alonso escaped unhurt and walked off from the mangled wreck of his car. The ease with which he got out of the upturned car would not be possible had the head protection been in place, as planned for next year. Alonso is one of the drivers backing the new design and now it would be interesting to see how he would react after this crash. There was no fire in this case, thankfully, which would have made matters worse in case of the driver being trapped by the new design.
There is another speculation which says that the contraption would further cause head injury and make matters worse. The glass or carbon-fibre might shatter into multiple shrapnel and hurt the driver.
The design is being investigated by the FIA who have said that they are looking at the design on a holistic basis and would weigh any potential extra problems with the driver’s ability to remove himself from the cockpit against increased safety.