How a halo helped Romain Grosgian escape the terrorist attack on the Bahrain Grand Prix

How a halo helped Romain Grosgian escape the terrorist attack on the Bahrain Grand Prix

“The halo is a protective device that looks like a chicken whistle,” said Andrew Westcott, chief executive of the Australian Grand Prix Corporation.

“It’s just above the cockpit. It’s made of carbon fiber. It’s very strong.

Bianchi, a French Formula 1 driver, suffered a major head injury in 2014 in a rain-soaked track in Suzuki, Japan. The car crashed into the trackside crane.

Although the Halo weighs just seven kilograms, the F1 can carry a twin-decker bus – up to 12,000 kilograms. Halo may have escaped serious injury or death when another car crashed into Bianchi’s best friend Charles Leclerc two years ago at the Belgian Grand Prix.

“Flying debris, other cars, tires, or in this case Amco fencing protects drivers from front-on impact,” Westcott explained.

“It’s open on the sides, but if there’s anything to hit on the front and side it will absorb or deflect … around the driver’s head.”

Tim Shenken, the course clerk for the Australian Grand Prix course, is a former F1 driver who competed in five seasons between 1970 and 1975. He is also the race director of the Australian Supercar Series.

He says Grosjean is alive because of Halo, but when it was introduced it was controversial among drivers because some thought it would interfere with their vision.

Romain helps Grosgian out of the burning car. Attribution:Peter Fox

“It’s been developing with the FIA ​​for a few years, and they did some testing,” Schengen said. “It was essentially the work of Charlie Whiting [the late F1 race director] Laurent McKee [a French race engineer, who is now sporting director for Ferrari]. He and Charlie handled the testing and development of Halo, which was compelling.

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“Initially there was a bit of concern. Some drivers thought it would interfere with their vision, but once it was in the cars you don’t notice it now, and it’s just shown how effective it is in this crash.”

Fireball crashes, unfortunately, are less common in Formula One than ever before. When Benetton’s car caught fire in 1994 in Hockenheim, Germany, Max’s father, Verstappen, escaped from a ditch. Then came the deadly clash. 1976.

In 1994, Jose Verstappen's car caught fire during a pit stop.

In 1994, Jose Verstappen’s car caught fire during a pit stop.Attribution:Fairfax

Grosgian’s car crashed into a barrier at a speed of 220 km / h after the Russian Daniel Quatt’s car was clipped.


F1 drivers typically experience a G-force of 5 g during braking, 2 g when accelerating and 4-6 g when taken at an angle. An FIA spokesman said a measure of the brutality of Grosgian’s crash had weighed more than 50 grams.

Grosgian’s car split in half and set off a fireball. The marshals arrived within seconds with a fire extinguisher and helped Grozian get out of the car.

In addition to Halo, there is a long list of actions to be taken to protect drivers, all of whom have played a role.

“Underwear, balaclavas, racing suits, boots, and gloves, each of which is certified by the FIA ​​Compliance Label. You start with the driver and his skill, helmet and clothing.


“You have the halo and the car, and then you have the other safety features – basically the design of the circuit to a very strict standard, which is FIA signed. The Bahrain circuit will have the same grade A license as our Albert Park circuit and the F1 circuit do.

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“There is a special process formalities from flag marshals, medical supervision, fire marshals, to race control to cascading. [Formula One race director] Michael Massey would have been in charge. His role will be to deploy resources to the GrossJine in reference to the red flag. “

The FIA ​​investigation will examine all aspects of the malfunction, including the speed of the marshals, the safety car processes, and the mechanism for expelling the driver from the point of interference in the circuit. The data recovered from the car and the team’s telemetry are essential. Masi, an Australian, will play a key role in finding answers.

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