FIA thinks halo stopped Leclerc's head being hit

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When Fernando Alonso attached the halo emoji to a pre-race tweet on Sunday, little did he know how much it would come to sum up his Belgian Grand Prix.

Hulkenberg triggered a terrifying crash at the first corner of the Belgian Grand Prix after colliding with the rear of Fernando Alonso's auto, which was then launched over the back of Charles Leclerc's Sauber.

While many drivers and fans were against the introduction of the halo system this season - with some seeing it as unsightly and a hindrance - many have praised it for appearing to save Leclerc from serious injury on Sunday.

Alonso's vehicle flew over the back of Leclerc, clipped the top of his Halo protection bar, and skidded into the runoff area. "As you know, I am not a fan of the halo - I think the aesthetics are bad", he told Reuters.

With Alonso announcing his decision to quit Formula One at the end of the season, the incident could well be the last at the famous Spa-Francorchamps circuit.

Leclerc, Alonso and Hulkenberg all retired from the race on lap 1, and Kimi Raikkonen later retired due to issues stemming from a lap-1 incident.

"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", Leclerc, 20, said.

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F1 uploaded a video to Twitter on Monday that was shot from Leclerc's vehicle, showing a close-up of Alonso flying past the Sauber man's head.

I felt the impact, but it wasn't that big in the auto.

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff said at their vehicle launch in February that he wanted to take a chainsaw to the device. "I think for him, it helped, looking at the replay", commented the double world champion. It could have been very nasty.

"What is clear is the significant tyre marks on both the chassis and the halo. We don't need to prove that it's a good thing to have". He was also hit with three points on his driver's licence.

Alonso said the accident reminded him of a similarly spectacular crash in 2012 that resulted in a race ban for Romain Grosjean.

"We take a lot of photographs and our researchers will be contacting Sauber morning to make sure we understand, for example, when they take the Halo off to see if the fixings and the bolts that fix it are in good shape, and more importantly, to see if it's been distorted".