Wolff: Halo definitely saved Hamilton’s life in Verstappen accident

Toto Wolff says the halo cockpit protection device "definitely" saved Lewis Hamilton's life in his accident with Formula 1 title rival Max Verstappen at Monza on Sunday.

Listen to this article

Hamilton and Verstappen collided while battling for position at the first chicane midway through the Italian Grand Prix, forcing both drivers to retire from the race.

The accident saw Verstappen's Red Bull car end up on top of Hamilton's Mercedes, with the slow-motion replays showing one of Verstappen's wheels making contact with the top of Hamilton's helmet. The majority of the impact was buffeted by the halo on Hamilton's car.

Hamilton said after the race that his neck was "a bit sore" as a result of the crash that the FIA stewards are currently investigating in the aftermath of the race.

Asked if the halo had saved Hamilton's life at Monza, Mercedes F1 boss Wolff said: "Halo definitely saved Lewis's life today.

"It would have been a horrible accident, that I don't even want to think about, if we wouldn't have had the halo."

The halo was introduced to Formula 1 in 2018 by the FIA under the stewardship of president Jean Todt, who faced fierce criticism at the time. The safety device was hailed as protecting Charles Leclerc in the 2018 Belgian Grand Prix and played a huge role in Romain Grosjean's escape from the violent 2020 Bahrain GP horror crash, when his Haas car split open the Armco.

Read Also:

The damaged car of Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W12

The damaged car of Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W12

Photo by: Steve Etherington / Motorsport Images

The collision marked the second major accident between Hamilton and Verstappen this season following their clash on the opening lap of the British Grand Prix back in July.

Wolff called the move by Verstappen a "tactical foul" after the race, but did recognise his own bias in judging the situation, saying that the stewards' decision would have to be respected.

Wolff said the battle between the two drivers - who are separated by just five points at the top of the championship - was "fierce" and "intense", but that they had to find a way to race each other cleanly.

"They need to find a way of how to race each other," Wolff said. "Either leave room in every direction, [or] there will be accidents, if it's not clear - and it's never clear cut actually.

"Like the Silverstone verdict was predominantly [to blame]. But they know in the car what they are doing and how they are racing each other.

"We should be watching with interest and hopefully not have eight accidents in the next eight remaining races."

Read Also:

Wolff felt it was important that the decision from the stewards at Monza clamped down on so-called 'tactical fouls' and prevent future clashes.

"We don't want to have situations in the future where one loses the position, and the only way of stopping the race or stopping the other one scoring is just by taking him out," Wolff said.

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

"Because it was good fun until now, but we have seen a halo that saved Lewis's life today, and Max had this heavy impact in Silverstone.

"We don't want to come to a situation to intervene when somebody gets really hurt."

shares
comments
Horner disappointed by Wolff's 'tactical foul' F1 remark
Previous article

Horner disappointed by Wolff's 'tactical foul' F1 remark

Next article

Verstappen gets penalty for Italian GP F1 incident with Hamilton

Verstappen gets penalty for Italian GP F1 incident with Hamilton
The physical focus bringing out the best from Esteban Ocon Prime

The physical focus bringing out the best from Esteban Ocon

Esteban Ocon likes to point out he’s the first driver since Lewis Hamilton to emerge from a spell as Fernando Alonso’s teammate with a superior overall points record. While some may disagree, as LUKE SMITH discovered, the 2021 Hungarian GP winner reckons it’s not just luck which has made him France’s pre-eminent Formula 1 driver of the moment…

How Red Bull's dynamic leader Mateschitz shaped its F1 philosophy Prime

How Red Bull's dynamic leader Mateschitz shaped its F1 philosophy

The death of Dietrich Mateschitz last month has not only deprived Red Bull of its visionary founder, it has shorn Formula 1 of one of its most influential benefactors. Mateschitz himself was famously media-shy, preferring to let the brand do the talking on his behalf. And, while it’s now normal to speak of Red Bull F1 titles and champions made, Mateschitz never assumed it would be easy or even possible – as ANTHONY ROWLINSON discovered during this previously unpublished interview from 2006…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2022
Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom? Prime

Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom?

OPINION: Teams that have dominated for long periods throughout Formula 1's history often take years to get back to the top of the tree once they've slipped down. But it remains to be seen whether the same will happen to Mercedes after a challenging 2022 season

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2022
What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi Prime

What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi

Arguably the favourite in the battle to finish second-best in 2022's Formula 1 standings, Sergio Perez's two-stop strategy at Abu Dhabi couldn't take him ahead of Charles Leclerc when the music stopped - and several key factors ultimately precluded him from the much-coveted runner-up spot.

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2022
The Abu Dhabi momentum that can propel Leclerc and Ferrari to F1 2023 success Prime

The Abu Dhabi momentum that can propel Leclerc and Ferrari to F1 2023 success

OPINION: Charles Leclerc achieved his target of sealing runner-up in the 2022 world championship with a masterful drive behind Max Verstappen in Abu Dhabi. And that race contained key elements that may help him, and Ferrari, go one better in Formula 1 2023

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2022
2022 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Driver Ratings Prime

2022 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Driver Ratings

The 2022 Formula 1 season came to a close at the Yas Marina Circuit, where the battle for second in the standings was decided, the wins in a season record extended and a retiring four-time world champion bowed out on a high. Here's how we rated the drivers

Formula 1
Nov 21, 2022
The factors that stopped Perez catching Leclerc in Verstappen's Abu Dhabi triumph Prime

The factors that stopped Perez catching Leclerc in Verstappen's Abu Dhabi triumph

Max Verstappen ended the 2022 Formula 1 season in fitting fashion with a dominant drive to victory in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. But behind him, early season rival Charles Leclerc achieved his target of securing the runner-up spot with a well-executed a one-stop strategy to beat Sergio Perez, whose pursuit on a two-stop strategy was hampered by several critical factors

Formula 1
Nov 21, 2022
Why the impact of FIA’s anti-bouncing metric is hard to judge Prime

Why the impact of FIA’s anti-bouncing metric is hard to judge

Faced with drivers complaining about the long-term health effects of car ‘bouncing’, the FIA stepped in to deal with it. JAKE BOXALL-LEGGE explains how the so-called ‘Aerodynamic Oscillation Metric’ works, and asks if it is fit for purpose?

Formula 1
Nov 20, 2022