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F1 Australian GP: Alonso crash doesn’t change halo argument – Button

Jenson Button says Fernando Alonso's accident in the Australian Grand Prix isn't a reason to question the benefits of a cockpit 'halo' device
Jenson Button says Fernando Alonso's accident in the Australian Grand Prix isn't a reason to question the benefits of a cockpit 'halo' device after it was suggested he wouldn't have been able to extricate himself from his damaged car had it been fitted.

Alonso suffered terrifying 300kmh crash at turn three on lap 18 of the Albert Park race after striking the back of Esteban Gutierrez's Haas and barrel rolling across the gravel trap.

Though totally unharmed despite its severity, Alonso was forced to crawl out of a small space between the car – which had come to rest with the cockpit entry facing the wall – and the barriers, before walking away.

However, some have questioned with a halo protection device would have stopped him being able to extricate himself as it would have potentially hindered his exit.

Though the man himself wasn't sure when asked, admitting it to be a 'good question', team-mate Button – who has been a strong supporter of the device since the death of Justin Wilson last August -, says such an issue is smaller than what the device could prevent.

"There was no need for him to get out in that situation," he said. “There's more safety risk of things hitting our head than anything happening when the car's upside down.

"It's very unusual that there would be an issue with fuel spillage or anything like that because you have the safety cell and the way that the fuel tanks are, it won't happen. I think it's better to have a halo system.

"They would tip the car over of course to get him out, so it takes a bit longer, but he was OK so it doesn't matter."

Over the weekend, Red Bull officially unveiled renderings of its cockpit protection device, which features a screen, unlike the halo, which comes up over and around the driver, leaving a central strut in the driver's vision.

Though the device has split opinion amongst drivers, the FIA says it is on course for a 2017 introduction and is now well developed.


Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
20.03.2016 - Race, Crash, Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-31 and Esteban Gutierrez (MEX) Haas F1 Team VF-16
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Pirelli 2017 tyre test [Credit: Pirelli]
27.11.2016 - Race, Start of the race, Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB12 and Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H and Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, Max Verstappen (NED) Red Bull Racing RB12
27.11.2016 - Race, Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Marcus Ericsson (SUE) Sauber C34 and Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Jolyon Palmer (GBR) Renault Sport F1 Team RS16 and Esteban Gutierrez (MEX) Haas F1 Team VF-16
27.11.2016 - Race, Max Verstappen (NED) Red Bull Racing RB12 leads Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid
27.11.2016 - Race, Jolyon Palmer (GBR) Renault Sport F1 Team RS16 and Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race,Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H  leads Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB12
27.11.2016 - Race, Felipe Nasr (BRA) Sauber C34 and Max Verstappen (NED) Red Bull Racing RB12
27.11.2016 - Race, Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB12 leads Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB12
27.11.2016 - Race, Start of the race, Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-31 off trach and Max Verstappen (NED) Red Bull Racing RB12 spins
27.11.2016 - Race, Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB12 and Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB12 and Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, Max Verstappen (NED) Red Bull Racing RB12

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Roger Smetaniuk

March 21, 2016 2:17 PM

So Button thinks it's less likely for a fire to happen than a piece of debris hitting a drivers head that is barely peeking out of the cockpit? So last debris accident was Massa in 09 which the Halo may or may not have done anything to stop it or maybe deflected it into his chest and killed him. vs Fire which Kimi had a on his car in this very race. You are right Button fire never happens in race cars LOL!



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