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F1 star Lewis Hamilton credits halo for saving his life in crash

epa09463614 Dutch Formula One driver Max Verstappen (L) of Red Bull Racing walks away after colliding with British Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes-AMG Petronas during the Formula One Grand Prix of Italy at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza race track in Monza, Italy, 12 September 2021. EPA-EFE/MATTEO BAZZI

Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton credited the halo device for saving his life in a crash during Sunday's Italian Grand Prix.

Hamilton was jockeying for position with rival Max Verstappen on lap 26 and the two collided, with Verstappen’s car winding up on top of Hamilton’s.

The halo cockpit safeguard, which protects the driver’s head, deflected Verstappen’s rear tire away from Hamilton’s head and onto the front of the car. It has been used on the F1 circuit since 2018.

“Honestly, I feel very, very fortunate today,” he added. “Thank God for the halo. That ultimately saved me. And saved my neck. I think in the actual moment it was a big hit, but all I could think was to get going again.”

A few hours after the accident, Hamilton, 36, said his neck was hurting.

“I will probably need to see a specialist to make sure I’m good for the next race because it is getting tighter and tighter. But I’ll live,” he said.

Verstappen walked away from his car, uninjured. Race stewards found him “predominantly to blame” for the accident and assessed a three-place grid penalty for the Sept. 26 Russian Grand Prix.

He disagreed with the penalty.

“Today was very unfortunate,” the Dutch driver tweeted. “The incident could have been avoided if I had been left enough space to make the corner. You need 2 people to make that work and I feel I was squeezed out of it. When racing each other, these things can happen, unfortunately.”

Daniel Ricciardo of Australia won the race in Monza, Italy.

Hamilton, from Great Britain, holds the Formula One record for wins with 99, surpassing the 91 races won by all-time great Michael Schumacher.

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  • Jo Van says:

    Verstappen is young, very talented but also impulsive and reckless. I believe he was actually to blame for his accident at Silverstone as he cut across Hamilton’s line then too, like he tried to do at Monza this past weekend. I think he is lucky that he only got a grid penalty, and he was lucky that Hamilton got penalised for the Silverstone incident. What is sad is that Verstappen does not think that he did anything wrong, which reduces the chances that he will learn anything from it. He did a really stupid thing which could have had tragic consequences, were it not for the introduction of the “Halo” a while ago.

  • George Gerber says:

    It says a lot about verstappen that he simply walked away from the crash without checking whether hamilton sustained any injuries. No care or decency

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