What concerns me most is not the "Halo saved Leclerc" headlines being pushed around (it quite clearly helped) but more the dismissal of any issue with Hulkenburg's Abu Dhabi crash.
The FIA (and Hulk)were exceptionally lucky that fire didn't take hold, and they are being totally disingenuous with their conclusions that are drawn without an investigation into the crash.
This was always the problem with the Halo.... Anyone with half a gram of brains can see that it would help protect in certain circumstances. The question is whether it increases the risk with roll-over accidents
Hulkenberg's fire was the type we saw on Webber's car in Korea a few years ago - an oil tank flash fire. The FIA doesn't apply the same standards to oil tanks as they do fuel tanks in F1 for good reasons. Firstly, oil tanks are ruptured frequently, and fires are rare (oil is vastly less flammable than fuel as fuel vapourises), and, secondly, the volume of an oil tank is minuscule compared with a 105 litre fuel tank. In Hulkenbrg's crash, none of the structures anywhere near the fuel tank were damaged, so the chances of a fuel fire were as close to sod all as you're ever likely to get.
For historical context, no fuel tank has been ruptured in a Formula 1 car since Lamy's tresting crash in 1994; no fuel fire in a race has resulted from a tank rupturing since 1989; no driver has died in a car that caught fire since the early '80s and no driver has died during a race as a direct consequence of a fire since 1973. This has NOT happened by chance. Tanks used to be rubber bags, housed in aluminium structures attached to the monocoque. They were located alongside the cockpit and above the drivers' legs, and, on impact, either the bag or a fuel line could very easily be ruptured by a section of the aluminium sheet cutting into them. By comparison, modern tanks use Kevlar-reinforced bladders with foam baffling, inside an immensely strong composite outer tank, which is located entirely behind the driver within a carbon composite survival cell that has to pass multiple stringent crash and static load tests, several of which are focused on the area of the tank. Of course, it is still conceivable that this protection might not be sufficient at some point in the future, but the other aspect to this is that, in 1973, most marshals were untrained, wore ordinary clothes, and many posts had zero extinguishers. If you were fortunate, one marshal every few posts might be provided with an aluminium-coated asbestos(!) suit, and that post would have 2 or 3 small extinguishers (often the sort you might have in a domestic kitchen). Other than that, there would be a vehicle in the paddock, often provided by the regional Fire Service which would take several minutes to arrive at a fire if it happened at the far end of the track. Fire marshalling since the 1980s has been unrecognisable in comparison, as the approach to flag, fire and rescue marshalling, not to mention medical cover, went from an amateur concept of a fun day out at the track to being a highly-regulated, trained, professional approach. Though most marshals are unpaid, their ethos is that of a professional - they are highly-trained and very well-equipped.
Edited by cpbell, 07 December 2018 - 16:47.