An F1 driver escaped serious injury and perhaps even death thanks to a new device added to cars this season.

By Dan Gartland
December 06, 2018

How to survive a car flying at your head

Mark Thompson/Getty Images

An F1 driver escaped serious injury and perhaps even death thanks to a new device added to cars this season, an official investigation found. 

Charles LeClerc was miraculously uninjured when Fernando Alonso’s car went flying straight at his head at the Belgian Grand Prix in August. The protective cockpit halo, a new addition for the 2018 season, bore the brunt of the impact and was all chewed up in the aftermath.

F1 then commissioned an official investigation to determine just how big a role the halo played in sparing LeClerc. The investigation was conducted by the FIA Global Institute, which is run by F1’s governing body.

The findings are full of science terms but make it clear that the halo saved LeClerc from serious injury, at the very leastThe most important conclusion is that the wheel of Alonso’s vechicle struck LeClerc’s halo with 58 kilonewtons of force. That was 46% of the force that the halo is designed to withstand, but was still enough to crack the halo in places. Had the wheel struck LeClerc’s unprotected head, he would have suffered at least a very serious head or neck injury. 

LeClerc, like many drivers, was actually opposed to the halo when it was first instituted. 

“I have never been a fan of the halo but I have to say that I was very happy to have it over my head today,” he said after the crash. “I felt the impact and looking at the image of my car it is quite spectacular.”

What’s with all these new football leagues?

Let’s review the last nine days in non-NFL football news:

• Nov. 28: The Alliance of American Football holds its quarterback draft

• Dec. 5: The revived XFL announces its host cities.

• Dec. 6: Ricky Williams and Terrell Owens announce plans for the Freedom Football League.

Are we really going to go from one pro football league to four pro football leagues in the next couple of years? What makes these new leagues think they won’t end up like the UFL? At best they’re going to feature a quality of play on par with mid-major college teams, and without the college ties that attract fans.

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