Zhou Guanyu’s crash at the British Grand Prix was a harrowing moment for all watching whilst we waited to hear how he was after seeing his car fly across the surface upside down. His life was undoubtedly saved by the Halo, but what is the Halo in Formula One?
If the crash was five years ago, the British Grand Prix could have resulted in a fatal crash for Zhou who would have been head first on the track and gravel before flying into the barriers after clearing the tyre wall through the air.
So if you’re relatively new to F1, you might not know what the Halo is or what its role is within the sport.
First introduced in 2018, the Halo was a requirement for all cars for the safety of the drivers. It bends around the cockpit to protect the driver’s head in case they do end up upside down like Zhou did. It also protects drivers in other ways.
We saw Lewis Hamilton’s crash with Max Verstappen at Monza, without the Halo, Verstappen’s car mounting Hamilton’s into the cockpit could have been fatal without a Halo. The same can be said for Romain Grosjean’s horrifying crash at Abu Dhabi when his car ripped in half and set alight in the barriers.
It’s constructed from aerospace industry Grade 5 titanium, it can withstand the weight of a double-decker London bus which is 12,000kg. It’s the strongest part of the car, but weighs just seven kilos.
You can see in this video below exactly what a halo is and does:
It was met with plenty of opposition and resistance as it made visibility slightly harder in the cockpit, however, most of those who were against it originally have had a reason to thank the Halo since.
Formula One is an incredibly dangerous sport, with drivers risking their lives every time they take to the track, so to see such advancements in safety being a roaring success is great and long may they continue.
Jean Todt, former FIA president also praised the Halo after the British Grand Prix when Zhou’s safety was confirmed. He took to Twitter to say: “Glad I followed my convictions in imposing the Halo, despite a strong opposition!”
After the spine-chilling scenes at Silverstone, it’s safe to say we’re all glad that Todt followed his convictions too and followed through with the Halo, what an incredible development and piece of engineering that has saved countless lives already, making the sport we all love safer for those competing.