Haas F1 driver Romain Grosjean has spoke from a hospital bed and said he would not be alive if it was not for a device introduced to the sport just two years ago.
Grosjean crashed when exiting Turn 3 on the opening lap of the Bahrain Grand Prix, smashing into the barrier at 137mph and tearing his car in half.
A huge fireball broke out as a result but the Frenchman was able to escape with burns to the back of both of his hands.
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However, it could have been much worse for Grosjean.
Speaking from hospital in an update video posted to his Instagram account, he credited a specific addition to motorsports for saving his life.
“Hello everyone, I just wanted to say I am OK – well, sort of OK,” Grosjean said.
“Thank you very much for all the messages. I wasn’t for the halo some years ago, but I think it’s the greatest thing that we’ve brought to Formula 1, and without it I wouldn’t be able to speak with you today.
“So thanks to all the medical staff at the circuit, at the hospital, and hopefully I can write you quite soon some messages and tell you how it’s going.”
F1 chief Ross Brawn agreed that the Halo – a curved titanium bar above the cockpit where the driver sits – was a life-saver.
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“The barrier splitting was a classic problem many years ago and normally it resulted in a fatality. There is absolutely no doubt the Halo was the factor that saved the day – and saved Romain,” Brawn told Sky Sports F1.
“All the team behind it just need crediting for forcing it through.”
As Grosjean said, he was not always on board with bringing the halo in and he was not the only one.
“We don’t need anything. I am against every Halo or Shield or whatever, it is not F1,” he said at the time.
The concern surrounded both its aesthetics and the fact it would be challenging tradition for open-wheel formula cars.
It was eventually introduced in 2018.
“If you recall, there was quite a lot of controversy at the time about introducing it and I don’t think anyone now, especially after today, can doubt the validity and value of it,” Brawn added.