F1 race director Charlie Whiting has said that the halo cockpit protection device did not slow Nico Hulkenberg's extraction after his first lap crash in Abu Dhabi.
In a dramatic incident, the German driver was launched into a barrel roll after making contact with Romain Grosjean at Turn 9, ending up upside down against the barriers. Due to the time that Hulkenberg was left in his car, when it was on fire, raised the question as to whether the halo had prevented him from jumping out of his Renault.
After he had been given the all clear from the medical centre, he told Channel 4 that he felt 'helpless' and that he was 'hanging like a cow' when the fire broke out.
When asked about whether the halo had prevented him from getting out, Whiting responded: “Not at all. We knew he was okay. There’s nothing to worry about there. The routine under those circumstances is to put the car back on its wheels."
“Once the car was back on its wheels, which has to be done carefully of course, he was able to get out by himself. It was very controlled from what I could see. Our medical delegate was more than happy with the way it was done. It all worked exactly as it should.
“When you have an accident like that, the radio from the car is automatically routed to race control, so that we get immediate information. Drivers normally say ‘I’m fine’ or ‘I’m okay’. So we get that and we relay that to the to the doctors or on the way to the scene so they know that he’s okay.
And then they can take their time to get the car righted and just let him get out. Quite clearly it’s one of the sort of accidents that Halo was designed to help with because it provides more space for the driver once the car is upside down,” he added.
“You may have seen some of the tests we did during the prove-out phase of the Halo involved putting the car on its top with a Halo and making sure the driver could actually get out of the car. That was one of the things we wanted to make sure was still possible.”
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