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

Verstappen gets penalty for Italian GP F1 incident with Hamilton

Assessing Hamilton's remarkable decade as a Mercedes F1 driver

Assessing Hamilton's remarkable decade as a Mercedes F1 driver

Prime
Prime
Formula 1
Alex Kalinuackas

Assessing Hamilton's Mercedes stint Assessing Hamilton's remarkable decade as a Mercedes F1 driver

Why new-look Haas is a litmus test for Formula 1’s new era

Why new-look Haas is a litmus test for Formula 1’s new era

Prime
Prime
Formula 1
Jonathan Noble

Why new-look Haas is a litmus test Why new-look Haas is a litmus test for Formula 1’s new era

The Mercedes F1 pressure changes under 10 years of Toto Wolff

The Mercedes F1 pressure changes under 10 years of Toto Wolff

Prime
Prime
Formula 1
Alex Kalinauckas

Assessing Wolff's Mercedes influence The Mercedes F1 pressure changes under 10 years of Toto Wolff

The all-French F1 partnership that Ocon and Gasly hope to emulate

The all-French F1 partnership that Ocon and Gasly hope to emulate

Prime
Prime
Formula 1
GP Racing

The line-up Ocon, Gasly may emulate The all-French F1 partnership that Ocon and Gasly hope to emulate

Who were the fastest drivers in F1 2022?

Who were the fastest drivers in F1 2022?

Prime
Prime
Formula 1
GP Racing

Who were the fastest F1 drivers? Who were the fastest drivers in F1 2022?

Nico Hulkenberg: Why F1's nearly man is refreshed and ready for his return

Nico Hulkenberg: Why F1's nearly man is refreshed and ready for his return

Prime
Prime
Formula 1
Adam Cooper

Why Hulkenberg is ready for return Nico Hulkenberg: Why F1's nearly man is refreshed and ready for his return

Why Vasseur relishes 'feeling the pressure' as Ferrari's F1 boss

Why Vasseur relishes 'feeling the pressure' as Ferrari's F1 boss

Prime
Prime
Formula 1
Jonathan Noble

Why Vasseur relishes the pressure Why Vasseur relishes 'feeling the pressure' as Ferrari's F1 boss

The crucial tech changes F1 teams must adapt to in 2023

The crucial tech changes F1 teams must adapt to in 2023

Prime
Prime
Formula 1
Jake Boxall-Legge

F1 2023's crucial tech changes The crucial tech changes F1 teams must adapt to in 2023