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Whiting: Halo did not hinder Hulkenberg rescue

NEWS STORY
26/11/2018

Ever since the Halo device was first mooted, some sceptics have claimed that in certain scenarios it could actually prove to be detrimental to drivers safety.

Yesterday, following his horrific first lap crash which saw Nico Hulkenberg's Renault barrel-roll before coming to rest upside down against the barriers, left many feeling that this was such a scenario.

For agonising seconds the cameras showed no movement from the car, and then flames began to spit at the rear.

As the team called on the German driver to find out if he was OK, following a long wait there was prolonged expletive before Hulkenberg replied that he was "hanging upside down like a cow", quickly adding that "there is a fire at the back, there is a fire at the back".

Moments later, the car righted, Hulkenberg was out of the car and signalling the crowd that all was well.

In his post-race debrief, FIA race director, Charlie Whiting, insisted that the Halo was not a hindrance in the German's rescue.

"Quite clearly that was one of the sort of accidents the halo was designed to help with," said the Briton. "It provides more space for the driver once the car is upside down.

"That was one of the things we wanted to make sure was still possible," he added, referring to the trials of the devise before its introduction this season.

"When you have an accident like that the radio from the car is automatically routed to race control so we get immediate information," he revealed. "Drivers normally say 'I'm OK' or 'I'm fine,' and we relay that to the doctors on their way to the scene. Then they can take their time to get the car righted and let him get out. We knew he was OK and there was nothing to worry about there. So the routine under those circumstances is to put the car back on its wheels, which has to be done carefully of course. Once back on its wheels he was able to get out by himself.

"It was very controlled from what I could see," he added, "and our medical delegate was more than happy with the way it was done. It all worked exactly as it should."

Check out our Sunday gallery from Yas Marina, here.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by Mad Matt, 26/11/2018 12:30

"I agree with neil below. It looked at one point as if a solitary marshal was trying to control the decent of the car (perhaps the camera angle gave the wrong impressions).

I'm also doubtful that Halo made things better it seems to me that it effectively blocks any chance of getting out with the car upside down on a flat surface.... although to be fair it's not something that happens even once every season."

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2. Posted by neil-o, 26/11/2018 10:56

"Leaving aside the debate on the merits and potential limitations of the halo device; I’d disagree that the process to get the car back on 4 wheels was controlled. From the pictures transmitted on the regular TV feed, there did look to be considerable confusion between those attempting to man handle the car. I was really surprised that there was no arrester system put in place to control the drop onto 4 wheels; although Hulkenberg had said he was ok, there are plenty of recorded incidents where adrenaline kicks in and the injuries sustained are only detected by others sometime after the incident. I was really concerned to see the car being effectively dropped onto its wheels with no attempt (again from the TV feed provided) to control the drop. Many emergency services around the worlds use airbag jacks to manoeuvre vehicles in a controlled way at accident sites. It’s surprising and very disappointing to see that the FIA did not have some form of arrester system in place to minimise the potential exacerbation or cause of injury to a driver through effectively dropping a car onto its wheels. "

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