Formula Two driver Roy Nisanny escaped with his life thanks to the halo after an horrific crash with Dennis Hauger.
On the opening lap of the F2 feature race at Silverstone Nissany pushed Hauger off-track heading into the braking zone for the Club chicane towards the final corner.
Norwegian Hauger suffered a broken front-right wheel, immediately deflating his tyre, and his car careered over the grass run-off making it impossible to sufficiently slow down before returning to the track at high speed.
Hauger’s car was launched over the 'sausage' kerb which sent it airborne and towards Nissany, who was exiting the first part of the chicane. Hauger’s car landed flush on top of his rival’s cockpit at speed, before both cars came to a stop in the gravel.
⚠️ A serious crash during this morning’s F2 race at Silverstone, as Dennis Hauger’s car was lifted up and ended up on top of Roy Nissany’s.
Both drivers have escaped unhurt after the crash due to the ‘life-saving’ halo.pic.twitter.com/4ZF5v8Dk8B
— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) July 3, 2022
There were no television replays for several minutes until it was confirmed that Nissany was out of the car and well. When replays were shown it was clear that were it not for the halo - the cockpit-fixed safety device that was introduced to Formula One and F2 in 2018 - the Israeli driver would have been very fortunate to be alive.
It was reminiscent of Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen’s crash at Monza last year, when Verstappen’s Red Bull was launched over the yellow ‘sausage’ kerb and onto Hamilton’s cockpit at the first chicane.
— Sky Sports F1 (@SkySportsF1) September 14, 2021
That incident was at slower speed than Nissany and Hauger’s but the Red Bull’s rear right wheel made contact with Hamilton’s helmet before the Dutchman’s car came to a stop on top of the Mercedes.
Sunday's crash did, however, appear to be partly caused by Nissany’s error. Forcing Hauger off the track caused the damage that made it impossible for the Norwegian to rejoin the track safely and it also meant that he approached the kerb at an unusual angle which left it acting as a ramp for his car.
When the halo was introduced it was far from universally popular. The device fundamentally altered the look of single-seater cars and Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff said he wanted to take it off with a chainsaw. Hamilton, too, said it was “the worst looking mod in F1 history.”
Yet several incidents in the past few years have won over almost all critics. Charles Leclerc was saved from serious injury or worse at the Belgian Grand Prix in 2018 whilst Romain Grosjean escaped with only burns after his car pierced the barriers in an horrific, fiery crash at the 2020 Bahrain Grand Prix. This instance today is perhaps the most obvious indication of its life-saving capabilities.