FIA believes Alonso would've hit Leclerc's head in Spa start crash

FIA Formula 1 race director Charlie Whiting believes the halo "probably" prevented Fernando Alonso's tyre from hitting Charles Leclerc's helmet in the Belgian Grand Prix start crash

The halo and cockpit side of the Sauber showed clear signs of the impact with one of the McLaren's tyres, after contact from Nico Hulkenberg's Renault sent Alonso flying over Leclerc.

Asked by Autosport what role the halo played in protecting Leclerc in the incident, Whiting replied: "We've already had a cursory examination of the parts. A little early to say.

"What is clear is the significant tyre marks on both the chassis and the halo.

"It would be a little bit speculative but you can see that it doesn't take much imagination to think that the tyre marks could have actually been on Charles's head.

"It would be a bit of a miracle if they weren't, had the halo not been there."

Whiting added that the "huge extent" of tyre marks showed the McLaren "probably would have made contact with his head" but added "that is slightly speculative".

He said the incident will provide the FIA with useful data, as the Barcelona Formula 2 crash in which Nirei Fukuzumi's car landed on Tadasuke Makino's cockpit did.

"We went right through that to try and gather as much as we can from it," said Whiting of the F2 incident.

"Our researchers have done a fairly detailed report on it, an internal report of course, but all we're trying to do is gather as much, because we're in the process of beginning development on 'halo 4', so the more information we can get, the better.

"We've taken lots of photographs and our researchers will be contacting Sauber just to make sure we understand [the crash consequences].

"For example when they take the halo off to see if the fixings and the bolts that fixed it are all in good shape, and more importantly to see if it's been distorted.

"It's being held in by bolts at present, but we want to see if it springs into a different shape so we can try and learn whatever we can from that.

"It looks like it's had a fairly hefty whack."

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