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Halo saved my life, says Hamilton

NEWS STORY
12/09/2021

Lewis Hamilton believes that the Halo device saved his life following today's clash with Max Verstappen during the Italian Grand Prix.

The pair were involved in a horrific clash on the 25th lap of the race, moments after the world champion had pitted for fresh rubber.

In the incident, Verstappen's Red Bull rose into the air with the rear of the car subsequently landing on the Mercedes, close up pictures revealing Hamilton helplessly looking up as his rival's car crashed down, hitting the Halo protective device just above his head.

"I feel very fortunate today," he subsequently told reporters. "Thank God for the Halo which saved me, and saved my neck.

"I am so grateful I am still here," he added. "I feel incredibly blessed that someone was watching over me today.

"I don't think I've ever been hit on the head by a car before," he continued, "and it is quite a big shock for me. We are taking risks and it's only when you experience something like that that you get the real shock of how you look at life and how fragile we all are.

"If you look at the images of the crash, my head is really quite far forward in the cockpit."

"The Halo definitely saved Lewis' life today," agreed team boss, Toto Wolff. "It would have been a horrible accident that I don't even want to think about if we didn't have the Halo."

Reflecting on the fact that this is the latest in a series of incident as the pair battle for the title, the Austrian added: "They need to find a way of how to race each other... either leave room in every direction... but there will be accidents when it is not clear cut, and it's never clear cut actually.

"They know in the car what they are doing and how they are racing," he continued, "and we should be watching with interest and hopefully we will not have eight accidents in the next eight races because then we will lose the championship by five points.

"I think Lewis gave a lot of space in Turn 4 on lap one and avoided a collision. Maybe I am more unsportsmanlike than Lewis because I would have ended the race there, at least we would have had less engine mileage.

"Both of them need to leave space for each other," he insisted, "race each other hard but avoid accidents.

"It was good fun until now, but we have seen Halo save Lewis' life today and Max had this heavy impact in Silverstone and we don't want to get to a situation where we intervene because someone gets really hurt."

"I definitely didn't think Max would lose control over the kerb and run into me," said Hamilton. "Looking back at the footage, it obviously happened very quick.

"Being in the car, all I could think of was getting going and how many positions I was losing," he admitted. "I'm still just in race mode, so it's just like: 'how can I get going again?', I'm sitting there in a little bit of pain, but just like, 'come on let's go'. But unfortunately the car wouldn't move."

The Briton admitted that he was surprised that following the incident, Verstappen walked away without checking to see if he was OK.

"I did see Max get out and just walk by. I found that a little bit surprising, because ultimately I think when we go out, and when we do have incidents, the first thing we want is make sure if the guy that we crashed into or we collided with is okay. But the good thing is I was able to get out. It was a long walk back, but we live to fight another day."

Check out our Sunday gallery from Monza, here.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by kenji, 13/09/2021 23:03

"@ Pavlo....The only positive thing that would've come out of a Verstappen 'enquiry' would've been the optics and I don't think that that is anywhere on Verstappen's radar. That is quite understandable given the history between these two.Whilst F1 is promoted as featuring the best drivers in the world these 'contretemps' between the two of them demonstrates anything but 'the best'. In fact if you drove like that on the road you could look foreword to having a free catered for holiday at the 'guvnors pleasure'. They both need to clean up their act and race like intelligent people rather than dangerous hooligans who can't control their respective vehicles or their childish impulses."

Rating: Positive (2)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

2. Posted by Pavlo, 13/09/2021 17:52

"@Mad Matt - from the medical point of view, if there is a marshal there, the driver is moving and the car is not burning, there is absolutely nothing helpful that another driver could/should do.
As I said, it’s great what Seb did, and would be absolutely lovely if Max and Lewis can do the same. But they didn’t, and that’s still understandable."

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3. Posted by Mad Matt, 13/09/2021 15:46

"I don't think it's really the same as at Silverstone.

At Silverstone Lewis was still driving and the Marshals/medics were on the scene before he could be. Lewis was then told Max was OK.

At Monza Max had just run over Lewis's head and while Lewis was initially moving he could have been heavily concussed so I admit to being a bit surprised Max didn't try to see if Lewis was OK or not.

Not too big a deal over all but seeing Seb's reaction at Spa when Lando crashed.... "

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4. Posted by Pavlo, 13/09/2021 12:32

"Lewis was trying to drive back while Max was getting out of the car (quite dangerous actually). It was absolutely obvious that Lewis was ok, totally no need to check. Plus a marshal waving Lewis to stop the engine.
Coming to check would have been similar as for Lewis to phone Max before the podium in Silverstone - totally unnecessary, but would have been a nice gesture of a racer."

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5. Posted by @R1Racing71, 13/09/2021 9:39

"As Max looked on it was clear that Lewis was ok and trying to get out of the gravel.
It’s motor racing - it happens.
"

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6. Posted by Red Baron, 13/09/2021 6:41

"My thoughts exactly in regard to Max not even turning his head as he walked past Lewis's car, I actually couldn't believe what I was seeing."

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7. Posted by [Insert Formula], 13/09/2021 4:11

"I agree with Lewis Hamilton, the halo did its job today. It protected Lewis' head from the Red Bull's rear right tire, and I'm happy to see Hamilton got out of the crash alright.

On that note, I can't deny it was surprising Verstappen didn't check on Hamilton. Maybe they weren't on the best of terms, but at the end of the day, everyone's safety should come first."

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8. Posted by C5, 13/09/2021 1:00

"I must begrudgingly admit the halo has again proven itself to be a major safety improvement, moreover one with no impact on performance, and therefore a good thing. I still don't like the look of it, but it is in no way as terrible as the shield. So I now consider myself converted to be a 100% halo supporter. Well done, FIA."

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