Formula 1 driver Zhou Guanyu would probably not have survived today had it not been for the partially enclosed titanium device that has formed a protective layer around the cockpit of his race car. Chu credited the protective device, known as the corona, for saving his life after a horrific accident during the first lap of the British Grand Prix on Sunday, according to the British newspaper The Guardian. CNN.
“I’m fine, everything is clear. Halo saved me the day,” Chu tweeted on Sunday with a selfie. “Thank you everyone for your kind messages!”
Cho was one of several drivers involved in the first turn accident, which saw his Alfa Romeo flip and slither across the track before crashing into the fencing. The aura, which forms partial protection around the cockpit, prevented Chu from sustaining serious injuries.
according to CNN:
Cho’s car ended up sandwiched between the tire fender and the guardrail to protect the fans. The awkward nature of the car’s position meant it took a while to get it out.
George Russell, the Mercedes driver, who had communicated with Cho during the collision, immediately got out of his car as soon as it stopped and ran to check on Cho.
The rookie, the first Chinese Formula 1 driver, was eventually photographed being carried on a stretcher by the emergency medical staff, and later given his assessment at the medical centre.
The corona, introduced by F1 in 2018, was initially resisted by some drivers – although many drivers have credited it with saving their lives. The concept was leaked in 2015, after IndyCar driver Justin Wilson died while racing when his head hit a wreck. (A number of other F1 and IndyCar drivers have died in similar accidents.)
The Halo was originally designed by Mercedes-Benz Motorsports, but the FIA took over the development process and began a round of testing in the fall. Other designs have been tested, including a similar design proposal from the Red Bull Racing team.
With F1 being the most well-known racing series, many have looked to it to lead the way in the field, and in some ways it has. F1 originally intended to offer the sport’s halo cockpit in 2017, but the plan was delayed, citing the “relatively short time frame” of implementing the requirements. Halos were eventually introduced the following year. The Formula E electric racing series also includes halo-shaped cockpits in its race cars – including some LED accents.
The cockpit Halo has infuriated some motorsport enthusiasts for its ability to spoil aesthetics. But when you’re flying around a sharp turn at 200mph and the slightest touch of a bumper can send a racing car spinning through the air, the aura can make the difference between life and death.
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