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.

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
Load comments
Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer Prime

Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer

Earning praise from rivals has been a welcome sign that Lando Norris is becoming established among Formula 1's elite. But the McLaren driver is confident that his team's upward curve can put him in the mix to contend for titles in the future, when he's hoping the compliments will be replaced by being deemed an equal adversary

What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention Prime

What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention

After a disastrous 2020 in which it slumped to sixth in the F1 constructors' standings, Ferrari has rebounded strongly and is on course to finish third - despite regulations that forced it to carryover much of its forgettable SF1000 machine. Yet while it can be pleased with its improvement, there are still steps it must make if 2022 is to yield a return to winning ways

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2021
How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations Prime

How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations

OPINION: The pressure is firmly on Red Bull and Mercedes as Formula 1 2021 embarks on its final double-header. How the respective teams deal with that will be a crucial factor in deciding the outcome of the drivers' and constructors' championships, as Motorsport.com's technical consultant and ex-McLaren F1 engineer Tim Wright explains.

Formula 1
Dec 1, 2021
How getting sacked from Benetton made Mercedes' Allison Prime

How getting sacked from Benetton made Mercedes' Allison

He’s had a hand in world championship-winning Formula 1 cars for Benetton, Renault and Mercedes, and was also a cog in the Schumacher-Ferrari axis. Having recently ‘moved upstairs’ as Mercedes chief technical officer, James Allison tells Stuart Codling about his career path and why being axed by Benetton was one of the best things that ever happened to him.

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2021
The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback Prime

The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback

It’s easy to look at Robert Kubica’s second Formula 1 career and feel a sense of sadness that he didn’t reach the heights for which he seemed destined. But as Ben Anderson discovered, performance and results are almost meaningless in this context – something more fundamental and incredible happened…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2021
The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver for McLaren Prime

The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver for McLaren

From being lapped by his own teammate in Monaco to winning at Monza, it’s been a tumultuous first season at McLaren for Daniel Ricciardo. But, as he tells STUART CODLING, there’s more to the story of his turnaround than having a lovely summer holiday during Formula 1's summer break...

Formula 1
Nov 26, 2021
The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title Prime

The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title

As the battle continues to rage over the F1 2021 drivers' championship, teams up and down the grid are turning their attentions to the prize money attributed to each position in the constructors' standings. But F1's sliding scale rules governing wind tunnel and CFD use will soften the blow for those who miss out on the top places

Formula 1
Nov 25, 2021
The invisible enemy that's made Hamilton's title charge tougher Prime

The invisible enemy that's made Hamilton's title charge tougher

After winning his past few Formula 1 titles as a canter, Lewis Hamilton currently trails Max Verstappen by eight points heading into the final double-header of 2021. Although Red Bull has been his biggest on-track challenge, Hamilton feels that he has just as much to grapple with away from the circuit

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2021