Last Sunday at the Bahrain Grand Prix, Romain Grosjean made contact with Daniil Kvyat on the opening lap at turn 3 where he violently collided with the barriers. The Haas F1 Team said the impact speed was 221 kph before the data stopped. Once the car made contact with the barrier, it broke into two pieces. The cockpit was submerged in the guardrail with the driver inside and the car exploded leaving the French driver in a fireball where he remained for 27 seconds. He escaped the vicious flames and was evacuated to a hospital where the x-rays revealed he had not suffered any fractures. His only injuries were burns to his hands and ankles.
From his hospital bed, a smiling Romain sent an update. The message read “Hello everyone, just wanted to say I’m okay, well, sort of okay,” holding up bandages covering his burnt hands. In the video, Romain praised the halo safety device saying “I wasn’t for the halo some years ago but I think it’s the greatest thing we brought to Formula 1 and without it I wouldn’t be able to speak to you today.”
In 2018, Grosjean said “Personally, I think it is a sad day for Formula One when it was announced. I am still against it, I still don’t think it has a place in Formula One.” The FIA top priority is safety for its drivers. With the introduction of the halo many drivers were against it, as they believed it would block vision and be useless. In Spa 2018, the halo showed its worth for the first time when Fernando Alonso was shoved on top of Charles Leclerc. The halo was the main reason Charles was able to walk away from the crash. And as we saw again in Bahrain, the halo proved its worth by piercing the through the barrier instead of Romain’s crash helmet. If it wasn’t for the halo, he wouldn’t be alive today.
Photo credit: CNN International