HANS helped Alonso escape injury

The Head and Neck Support (HANS) device almost certainly helped Fernando Alonso escape serious injury in his huge accident at the Brazilian Grand Prix

HANS helped Alonso escape injury

The FIA made it compulsory for all Formula 1 drivers to wear the HANS device from the start of this year, although many of the drivers voiced concerns about the comfort and effectiveness of the system.

"It's quite hard to say [how much HANS helped], because the accident was the biggest one of my career, but I am obviously pleased with how it performed," said Alonso. "For me, the system isn't at all uncomfortable in the car, and it was definitely an advantage at that moment. With that kind of crash, you usually suffer from neck pains afterwards, and I have had no problems at all. I think that the HANS device helped in that, and did a very good job in that particular crash."

Pat Symond, Renault's executive director of engineering, was confident that the device helped Alonso escape unhurt from his heavy impact with the wall. "Overall, I think the device worked extremely well," he said. "The facts of the accident were that after a relatively light impact with the wheel on the circuit, of around 4.5g, the accident data recorder indicated the first impact with the wall was a 35g lateral and 35g longitudinal impact, followed by a second side impact of 60g.

"When you consider that our tests are conducted at 40g, that shows these were very big impacts. However, Fernando has suffered absolutely no problems with his neck, which is unusual in an accident of this magnitude. I think we can judge that the device did prevent him from a degree of injury, and we are very pleased with its performance."

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