FIA race director Charlie Whiting has confirmed the Halo on Charles Leclerc’s car sustained an impact at roughly half the test level for the Formula 1 cockpit protection device during the collision with Fernando Alonso at Spa.

Leclerc’s Sauber was struck after Alonso’s car was sent airborne following a rear impact from Nico Hulkenberg, with the Halo of the Monegasque youngster’s car being struck.

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Whiting said in the wake of the accident it was “speculative” to suggest the Halo had prevented Leclerc from being hit by Alonso’s wheel, but the incident acted to end a lot of debate about the necessity of the device.

Speaking in a press briefing at Monza on Friday alongside FIA president Jean Todt, Whiting said that further discussions and investigations into the incident found the Halo to have withstood an impact half the level of the test loads.

“The initial conclusions are the Halo experienced a load of roughly half of the test load, in more or less the same place as the test load or one of the test loads is actually applied to the Halo,” Whiting said.

“There was no distortion of the Halo, it was taken off, there was no buckling of it. The Sauber guys have crack checked it and it seems to be fine.”

Whiting said the load on Leclerc’s Halo was estimated to be a mass of 56 kilonewtons,’ equivalent to more than 5,000 kg.

“It is an estimate because you have to know precisely what the suspension could fail at, the weight of the car, the relative speed of the cars of course,” Whiting said.

“All of those things are to some extent estimates. I think the fact that the suspension was broken by the Halo, by its contact with the Halo, demonstrates the sort loads that we saw.

“The test load is 125 kN.”

Despite the FIA’s ongoing investigation, Whiting said it was still too early to make a definitive judgement on whether it had saved Leclerc’s life.

“That is something we haven’t reached a conclusion on yet and needs more research, to try and understand the accident mechanisms there,” Whiting said.

“It’s not possible at this stage to say that with complete certainty.”

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