Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton credited the halo device for saving his life in a crash during Sunday’s Italian Grand Prix.
Hamilton was jockeying for position with rival Max Verstappen on lap 26 and the two collided, with Verstappen’s car winding up on top of Hamilton’s.
The halo cockpit safeguard, which protects the driver’s head, deflected Verstappen’s rear tire away from Hamilton’s head and onto the front of the car. It has been used on the F1 circuit since 2018.
“Honestly, I feel very, very fortunate today,” he added. “Thank God for the halo. That ultimately saved me. And saved my neck. I think in the actual moment it was a big hit, but all I could think was to get going again.”
A few hours after the accident, Hamilton, 36, said his neck was hurting.
“I will probably need to see a specialist to make sure I’m good for the next race because it is getting tighter and tighter. But I’ll live,” he said.
Verstappen walked away from his car, uninjured. Race stewards found him “predominantly to blame” for the accident and assessed a three-place grid penalty for the Sept. 26 Russian Grand Prix.
He disagreed with the penalty.
“Today was very unfortunate,” the Dutch driver tweeted. “The incident could have been avoided if I had been left enough space to make the corner. You need 2 people to make that work and I feel I was squeezed out of it. When racing each other, these things can happen, unfortunately.”
Daniel Ricciardo of Australia won the race in Monza, Italy.
Hamilton, from Great Britain, holds the Formula One record for wins with 99, surpassing the 91 races won by all-time great Michael Schumacher.
–Field Level Media