Formula 1 Race Director Charlie Whiting believes the outcome for Tadasuke Makino in Formula 2’s Barcelona Sprint Race “could have been nasty” without the presence of the halo.
The FIA has been striving to increase the head protection available for drivers in recent years and, having tested several devices, settled on the halo, a system which wraps around the cockpit in the form of three struts.
The halo was mandated into Formula 1’s regulations for this year and was also implemented onto Formula 2’s new-for-2018 package.
Honda protégés Makino and Nirei Fukuzumi clashed into Turn 4 during Sunday’s Sprint Race, with the limited TV footage showing that Fukuzumi’s Arden machine mounted his rival’s car.
Photos posted by Makino in the aftermath of the incident revealed damage to the upper sidepod area, with marks on the halo, while his T-cam also sustained damage.
Makino was uninjured in the clash and Whiting feels that the outcome could have been worse without the halo.
“We will do an incident investigation on that one,” said Whiting.
“Judging by the photos we’ve seen, and the accident of course, it looks very much as if it could have been a lot worse without the halo, that’s the preliminary findings.
“Where you see the tyre marks, one [car] got up and over the other one, I didn’t quite see how it happened.
“But when you look at the tyre marks on the bodywork behind and all the way down the side of the halo, it’s quite…
“Where the tyre marks start on the halo is exactly where the test loads, or one of two test loads, is applied, so even if it didn’t actually save his life it could have been nasty without the halo, I would have said, judging by the track of the tyre marks.”