Max Verstappen said he was grateful the Halo helped protect Romain Grosjean in his dramatic Bahrain Grand Prix crash, despite having previously criticised the device.
“When I saw the flames, that was pretty scary to watch,” said Verstappen. “But luckily of course he jumped out of the car himself and that was the most important.”
Grosjean’s escape from the shocking crash shows “how much [safety] has improved” said Verstappen. The Halo, which was added to Formula 1 cars in 2018, has been the most visible safety change of recent seasons, but was criticised by several drivers when it was introduced.
“I think the Halo today saved his life,” said Verstappen. “In the beginning when it came onto the cars I was quite critical about it, that it looked ugly. But you can’t say anything about the safety because today it definitely saved Romain, so I’m very happy about that.
“My thoughts are with him and, of course, his family as well because they are watching in front of TV and that’s never nice. So I hope that he will recover very soon and he will be back with us.”Pietro Fittipaldi has been announced as his replacement for the race.
Other prominent F1 figures have credited the Halo’s role in the crash. Formula 1 director Ross Brawn said there was “absolutely no doubt” of the life-saving role it had performed.
Lewis Hamilton said the Halo “for sure would have definitely have helped in saving his life today.”
Kevin Magnussen, who like his team mate Grosjean criticised the Halo when it was introduced, also said he was grateful for it yesterday.
“I’m just very, very happy to see Romain walk away from that crash,” said Magnussen. “It was unbelievable. To see him survive that is frankly a miracle.
“I’m so happy that the Halo was introduced, and it was on his car. Without it I’m sure it would have been very different. That’s really all from me today. I’m just happy that we’ve still got Romain.”
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2020 Bahrain Grand Prix
- Grosjean reveals extent of burns to right hand
- ‘I put both my hands in the fire’: Grosjean describes his 28 seconds trapped in an inferno
- “Thank you for saving my life” Grosjean tells crash scene marshals
- The urgent questions F1 must answer following Grosjean’s fireball crash
- Grosjean: I tried three times to escape from burning cockpit