Fan photos show how close F2 driver came to disaster in Barcelona
Posted By: James Allen  |  17 May 2018   |  9:07 pm GMT  |  267 comments

Photos sent in by a spectator at the Spanish Grand Prix weekend in Barcelona, have shed light on how close F2 driver Tadasuke Makino came to a serious injury or worse in his accident with fellow competitor Nirei Fukuzumi during Sunday’s sprint race.

Makino has said the halo device – which has proved a controversial addition to F1 and F2 cars for this year because of the way it obscures fans’ view of the drivers and its overall aesthetics – saved his life in his accident.

These images would appear to bear this out.

The accident is reminiscent of that between Romain Grosjean and Fernando Alonso at the first corner at Spa in 2012. But this F2 incident shows that the car climbing on top of the other would probably have hit Makino’s head without the halo.

Proponents of the halo will see this as a vindication of their argument that it was only a matter of time before a car, a wheel or a large object made contact with a driver’s head with fatal consequences.

“The first time I tested this car I didn’t think the halo was good, because it’s difficult to see anything, but today the halo helped me,” said Makino.

“It’s really important. I understand how the halo works now.

“I don’t know what happened, but without the halo I think the tyre would have hit my helmet.”

The incident and these images are likely to come up at the F1 and F2 drivers’ briefings in Monaco next weekend.

What do you think of this incident and its consequences? Leave your comment in the section below

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Like most long-term enthusiasts, I don’t like the Halo but it had been obvious for some time that, statistically, a race accident involving a fatal head injury has been long overdue.

Even worse, there were circumstances where we might easily have witnessed a driver being beheading on live TV. Could live coverage of motorsport have survived such an incident ? Probably not.

Arguably given time, the Red Bull solution of a cockpit canopy would look much better aesthetically and, with development, would offer even more protection than the Halo against the kind of flying debris that fortunately only injured Felipe Massa.

As a short term answer, the Halo is therefore to be welcomed but I for one only hope that it does not become the long term solution.


Where’s the halo in MotoGT?

Tom Ellsworth

The comments about open wheel racing being better off as a dangerous sport and comparing it to tight rope walking are wrong-headed at best.

Do we forget the death of Senna? The angle of impact of the tire and suspension member certainly would’ve been changed by a halo.

Do we forget Justin Wilson? The force of the flying nose cone from Sage Karan’s car hitting Wilson’s helmet was so great it ricocheted 12 metres (40 feet) vertically into the air. Wilson was extricated from his car and airlifted to Lehigh Valley Hospital in Allentown in a coma and died the following day.

Drivers will always push the limit and take risks. Senna himself said that if you don’t go for a gap and take a risk of some type, you were not really a racing driver (The famous Jackie Stewart interview).

Jackie Stewart himself campaigned for safer circuits not less safe circuits or less safe racing.

I want drivers to be as bold as possible and let the great ones stand out from the rest. I want as much safety in the sport as possible as I watch them do it.

Thanks – E.

on the marbles

Let’s not forget the abuse and slagging that Stewart received, sometimes from other drivers who felt their manhood was being questioned by having some barriers put in, but mainly from the kind of people that would never have the guts to race the circuits, let alone at the speeds he so often did to win. Stewart loved his sport but he saw no reason to unnecessarily die while participating. I care not a jot about what halo looks like, I say leave it up to the drivers, if the majority want it then let it stay, if they don’t then that is their choice…

What right has any couch potato who doesn’t race have to tell them that they shouldn’t have some additional protection just because it “ruins the look of the car”? if folks want to look at pretty cars they are probably watching the wrong sport anyway.


On the contrary, it’s the pro- halo arguments that are misguided because they are in support of a measure that’s completely out of proportion with the potential danger.

Look at it this way. Would we all be safer if the wearing of motorcycle helmets while driving our cars on the road were made compulsory? Of course we would be. So why don’t we, and why have the few attempts to make it compulsory to wear a helmet while driving be made compulsory been met with such vehement opposition?

It’s because we all have an intuitive understanding of the where the line between genuine safety and neurotic safety overkill lies. And the halo has overstepped that line, hence the overwhelmingly negative reaction towards it from the great majority of fans.

Quite simply the halo is the equivalent of wearing a crash helmet while driving a roadcar to the shops and while walking down a busy street. We know it would make us safer, but we also know that there is something not quite healthy about that.


There are only 3 sports… you are the “wrong headed” person trying to turn Formula 1 into just another game.

Such a shame.


What a piece!

Bobster, did you read this and lifted the challenge statement from here and I’m giving you credit for it? 🙂


Can’t help but agree with Richard and Tony.

F1 used to be the cool, daredevil uncle who played guitar in a rock band and rode motorcycles really fast.

Now f1 is the weird neurotic uncle who wears Kleenex boxes on his feet and a bicycle helmet while shopping or walking the dog.


the antifans will always oppose the halo nor matter how ridiculous they come across.

Fulveo Ballabeo

Even if that was correct, just like you, they’re still entitled to their opinion


I think this incident, & others like it, are the result of an individual persons perception of where their line is (or how far they can push their luck if you prefer), & their expectation of other peoples acceptance of their limit.

For an example, Michael would interlock wheels with Coulthard & be ok with it, whereas Coulthard believed it was dangerous.

Therefore i believe this is something that will continue to occur, especially in the lower formula with less experienced drivers.

As to the consequences of this incident, well I think it renders the last two years of comment from Sebee completely null & void.

Also, although the Halo makes driver identification more difficult, I don’t accept that it can’t be done.

It is not essential to see the entire helmet, as they are all different colours, plus the cars are numbered, the Roll Hoop cameras are different, the drivers lines are different, & the live timing & big screens show the order of the race.

………… you just know the first Sauber-Romeo to go past is Le Clerc.

on the marbles

The anti-halo argument about identifying drivers is quite bizarre. Just make the bleeding numbers on the cars bigger and more prominent, job done. There’s plenty of space for it. At the end of the day you only need to be able to tell two cars apart as most teams have completely different colour schemes any way, just make it mandatory that the two cars hfrom each team have to have different coloured front or rear wings, or whatever. Nobody needs to see a helmet.

Nic Maennling

Let’s all calm down. After that collision he now understands how the halo works ?! Nonsense. It will always be about ifs and buts. Not enough evidence has been amassed to prove anything at all. Let’s see what happens next time which we hope will never happen. It looks like one driver lost his mobile.


Sounds like you didn’t watch the halo presentation by the FIA … the evidence is there


As a public service announcement, virtually all of Sebee’s statistical analysis below is invalid/incorrect, and his conclusion that driving an F1 car on track is safer than driving on public roads is ludicrous.
Either he knows this and is being deliberately misleading, or he does not know this and should refrain from doing data analysis in public places.


How about some data to back up your statement Mr. Public Service Announcement?


Based on past experience data is not how you make your decisions. Instead you come up with your conclusion first, sift through the available information in quest of a fact that doesn’t on the face of it directly contradict your theory, and then shout about the big secret/conspiracy you have uncovered. If you are confronted with evidence to the contrary you either dismiss it (That doesn’t count because :insert excuse here: ), or just ignore it with the standard fall back of “Well I am entitled to my opinion”.
That is not the way facts work, and so my announcement was aimed at those who base their decisions on reason. And there is no reasonable way to reach the conclusion that it is safer racing a F1 car than driving on the public roadways.


A F1 car is probably safer than most road cars. You have a safety cell your surrounded by. racing harness, hans, fire proof clothing, helmet and large run off areas. Road cars have trees, walls, cliffs, no run off, other drivers, buses, trucks, animals, pedestrians to contend with. They only have seat belts and airbags for safety. You have huge variances in size a Miata, Elise vs a bus or truck. You have huge differences in driving ability. F1 the risk variables are much lower a handful of possible situations than can occur with the worlds best drivers driving them.


Formula 1 cars are definitely much better engineered to protest the drivers, but they operate under much more dangerous conditions. No one on the road will be impacting a wall at 200 mph. And while there are more unexpected and random sources of danger on public roads to worry about, for F1 drivers there is Max 😉


PatM, boom!


Pretty much everybody makes decisions the way Sebee does, including the FIA with regard to the halo. Decisions are made on emotional grounds and then backed up with “facts”.

Do you believe it’s rational to put a massive thong around the cockpit of an f1 car and alter one of its core attractions just to safeguard against a scenario that is demonstrably so unlikely as to be almost miraculous?

To me it’s not. It’s tantamount to wearing a helmet while out walking the dog or shopping . Which, by the way, some people do because they have a fear of something falling on their head or getting hit by a car, which can happen but is so unlikely that we generally don’t do it because it would be irrational and we would be perceived as weirdos.

The halo is exactly like that; it’s like seeing a guy wearing a bicycle helmet while shopping for groceries.

on the marbles

What core attraction? Looking at helmets?


Did you watch the FIA presentation on the halo … it was quite scientific, not the emotional decision that you describe.


TimW; The testing and implementation took 3 years, but the decision to actually put it on the cars could have taken a microsecond.

We all know what the FIA is like by now; once they make up their mind to do something there is no stopping them, and the worse the idea is, the more unstoppable they tend to be.


Luke, knee jerk and emotional reactions don’t take three years!



I didn’t say that the halo was a knee-jerk reaction, although it probably was.

I said that it was introduced on emotional grounds and now some people are trying justify its presence with reason and “facts”.


Luke, you can ignore that two to three year evaluation and testing process that the FIA undertook before introducing the halo all you like, but the fact is it did happen and therefore your constant ‘kneejerk’ accusations are not warranted.


I think we might disagree on what the core attraction of Formula 1 is. For me it is the interpretation of the formula by the engineering teams, which is then demonstrated by the drivers. If it means that at the start of each race the two Mercedes cars drive off into the distance then they have shown that they have the best interpretation of the formula. If it turns out that the racing is exciting then that is a bonus, but I have been watching Formula 1 for a long time, and for large chunks of that time races consisted of cars finishing in qualifying order missing those who crashed or failed mechanically. But still those who won demonstrated success at what I consider the attraction of Formula 1 – interpret the formula and win races.


Well, there is sheer volume of data, the one freak F1 death in 20 years where halo would have done nothing, the Schumi statement that he felt safer on the track than on public roads.

What is interesting is that I laid out the data points for you, and it is readily available and yet you dismiss it and just come to a conclusion without considering it o and without discussion. I believe that’s the definition of ignorance, yes?


Trust me, my comprehension skills aren’t the issue, it is your credibility. By your own admission you are willing to post incorrect statements as valid data.
If you have such confidence in your latest numbers perhaps you should write it up formally and submit for publication – be sure to let us know how the peer review process turns out.


Pat M, leave it up to you to not apply analysis to the numbers or statement.

1 average per year has been over F1 all time. Clearly, the sport was very dangerous in early days when there was no safety whatsoever, which piled on the deaths that still average out to 1 all time.

They wore leather helmets, googles and burst into flames on tracks of dirt. When you look at last 20 years of F1, the death reduction, or rather near elimination is clear to see. Jules is a freak accident and clearly the cause there was the CAT, lack of track activity control, and let us not forget the green flag ahead of the sector.

Again, anyone know what happened with the Bianchi father legal proceedings?

So, here is the statement once again. Read it please. Comprehend it please. Look at the data, and the high quality data of public roads vs. F1 data, which has quality and sample size issues, and then look at the less than 650 deaths all time in motorsport and imagine all the sanctioned disciplines, races, lengths, qualifying, testing days, 24 hour races (5000km in one day!) Rally, etc. And think of the distance and number of drivers we’re talking about across 120 years, or the last 20. I just ran some additional calculations, and I’m quite comfortable with the statement. Although I will say this…it’s probably not 4 or 5 times safer like I said elsewhere in this piece. More like twice.

“It’s comical that they have managed to sell us on the fact that motorsport is dangerous. It absolutely isn’t. Not in the last two decades at least. It is so many times safer than we are out there on the roads.”


Let’s assume there are on average 25 f1 drivers each year.
You said on average 1 is killed each year.
You said fi drivers cover about as much mileage as an average driver each year.
Do 1 in 25 of the drivers you know die in car crashes each year?


This accident was caused because the cars are open wheel. If the cars were not open wheel, like say Formula E cars, then this accident would have never happened in the manor it did, and no contact near any drivers head would have occurred.

Open wheel cars are dangerous, plus, we know they make bad race cars because of the turbulent air issue. But mostly because of safety, perhaps it is time that the FIA considered ending senselessly dangerous open wheel racing.

I think the best solution is for F1 to adopt the TCR formula for 2021. They’re much safer, and they have tons of road relevance!!


Ha! Good one.


The “best” drivers in the world, driving the safest cars in the world, on the safest circuits in the world, promoting road safety, all sponsored by Martini and Hieniken.

This really is a joke being played on the fans.


You want alcohol sponsorship banned now Twitch?


I’m pointing out the absurdity of it…..where did you see me mention banning alcohol sponsorship?

Are you saying you support drinking and driving (see how easy it is to jump to ludicrous conclusions)?


Twitch, so should alcohol sponsorship be allowed or not? I reached the conclusion that you thought it should be based on your original comment, and now you say it’s absurd? Surely if the FIA doesn’t want to be seen as ‘absurd’ then they have no alternative.


Twitch, why shouldn’t F1 have alcohol sponsorship? Why is there any conflict there? People can enjoy a drink without jumping in their cars and mowing down a bus queue can’t they? I’m not the one who loves the nanny state Twitch, I’m not the one who lacks the common sense to realise that people who like a drink now and then can also be safe drivers, I’m not the one trying to find links between the two that don’t exist. If the FIA do ban the booze companies, it will be precisely because of people making silly comments like yours.


Tim….the FIA can look any way they like….they don’t have to BAN any kind of advertising. That’s another example of how you love the nanny state – “Bad things must be banned, never to be spoken of again!!”

There’s another solution to not looking absurd. Stop acting like Road Safety has anything to do with driving a race car on a closed circuit. To me, it’s like the UFC promoting non-violent conflict resolution.

I’m not sure what you’re getting at here…I pointed out how the FIA, F1, and it’s sponsors kind of have some conflicts of interest between them, and you’re trying to catch me in some “gotcha” moment based on how you interpreted what I’ve said.

And beside, I don’t think the FIA really cares about people thinking they’re idiots.


Those who’re against the Halo are probably fans of war movies, death and destructions.


Personally, I’m fond of Die Hard.




True Lies is also good. It’s a bit like Die Hard, but more of a comedy.


Die Hard is also my top Christmas movie. A holiday classic if you will.


Not I. My favourite genre happens to be comedy.

on the marbles

Die Hard is a comedy…


Those who support the halo are probably fans of Dora the Explorer, living in a bubble, and trying to save everything.

Damn, this game is easier than I thought. Ok your turn again.


Twitch, is it worth watching a few drivers die, to preserve the aesthetic purity of the cars?


#TimW. Ouch we agree on something. Amazing these “ purists” are against a safety device rather than campaigning against electronic aids , engineers controlling the driver, computers managing the systems…my list of hates just goes on but there again I was watching back in the day when there was a good chance of a driver getting badly injured or worse at every GP.


We preserve peoples freedom to travel at the expense of lives all the time. Is it worth letting anyone who wants to drive a car drive one at the expense of the safety of others? We let incompetent drivers on the road all the time. The exam for acquiring a driver’s license is comical in the US at least. You basically are tested on reading signs while driving, following the speed limit and knowing where the brake and gas pedals are. All the deaths we have annually from road driving yet no stricter measures are taken to ensure people are adequately equipped to drive. Most people couldn’t tell you what oversteer or understeer is or how to correct it. It is not just the aesthetics of the halo, they alter the formula, add weight to already overweight cars, the wheel had to be increased to distribute weight, the center of gravity is higher, and it look like $#!t. At what point does the do go karts become amusement park bumper karts? Where do you draw the line? When do the circuits become car parks? We need more Suzuka less Abu Dhabi.


J, all that stuff about the US driving test is interesting, but not really relevant to wether or not F1 cars should have a halo. The FIA is responsible for safety at the events at which it officiates, they have no control over the level of driver competence in America.

I became interested in F1 for a number of reasons, mainly because it features the fastest cars driven by the best drivers. This hasn’t changed with the introduction of the halo, the cars are heavier, but still the fastest way of getting around a road course, and the standard of driving hasn’t changed at all. The two things that stand out for me this year are Lewis’ pole lap in Australia, and Dan and Max going at it in Baku. I enjoyed watching a top driver wringing the neck of one these ferociously quick cars this year, just as I have so many times over the last 35 years, and I enjoyed watching two hard racers battling just as much as I ever have before. The halo had no effect on my enjoyment of these two events, the DNA of the sport remains intact in my view. The line needs to be drawn at a point where F1’s status would be damaged, if the weight of the halo caused lap times to fall dramatically, then it would be a step too far, if a safety feature meant the cars were easier to drive, or impinged upon the drivers ability to race each other, then I wouldn’t be in favour, but the halo doesn’t do either of those things.

P.S any chance of you answering the question that everyone else is avoiding?


When did a driver die?

When they ran a race in a monsoon, late in the day, and let a CAT on the track, without VSC or SC and showed a green flag in the sector the CAT was in?

Oh…and halo would have done nothing for him.


Sebee, wiw you guys really, really don’t want to answer my question do you?! First Twitch veers off into cloud cuckoo land where moto gp bikes have stabilisers, and now you seem to want to talk about Bill Gates assuaging his rich man guilt by vaccinated a few African mids! It’s a simple yes or no question Sebee, one that Jean Todt had to actually answer, why are you so reticent to answer it? It won’t take much effort.


Twitch, yet AGAIN you refuse to answer a simple question, and despite being brought up to believe it is rude to answer a question with a question, I will indulge you and answer yours.

No I would not vote for an extra two wheels to be added to a moto gp bike, because as I pointed out to you earlier that would mean it is no longer a motorbike, and would therefore change that sport beyond all recognition. The halo has not done this to F1, it’s just a hoop over the cockpit that might look a bit awkward, but doesn’t change how hard the cars are to drive at all. The problem with your questions Twitch are they have no basis in reality at all, moto gp will never add wheels to their bikes, esports will never overtake real sport in popularity, but my question about wether or not to introduce the halo was basically the question that Jean Todt HAD to answer. He didn’t have the luxury of dodging the issue by talking about stabilisers on motorbikes instead, he had to respond to the death of Henry Surtees. Henry died at an FIA event, and as is the case with any fatal crash, an investigation took place and a need for head protection was identified. The accident was caused by a wheel becoming detached and hitting Henry, this accident could just as easily have happened in F1. Wheel tethers have their limitations, remember Buemi’s front wheels coming off in China a few years ago? I also believe that a wheel came off in the Grosjean incident at the last race.

My question isn’t plucked from the realms of fantasy land, it is based entirely on reality, on real events, so how about that answer?


Won’t let me respond to Tim anymore, so let’s explore his Delorean idea.

So, he says, hypothetically, halo could save the life of a driver between now and 2021. Ok. Hypothetically.

What if I told you that, hypothetically, adding 2 extra wheels to a motogp bike would make it X times safer. So, we go down one timeline, and we have 4-wheeled motoGP bikes, and no one dead or injured. In the other timeline, motogp stays as a 2 wheeled series, but TWO riders are dead by 2021.

Which timeline would you take Tim? Would you add extra wheels to a motogp bike knowing it could hypothetically save the lives of 2 riders?

We could also add a third timeline to your scenario. By 2021, car racing is no longer a thing, and eSports has completely taken over. No one gets hurt, EVER. I can show you stat after stat that 100% proves virtual racing is safer than real racing. No driver would ever get hurt, ever again. Is this your ideal timeline?


LazyW, what if we get to 2021 and some of us commenters aren’t there?

You’re getting into philosophical questions here of should lives be saved if you know they will be lost, should we know how we die, when, etc. Hard questions. I mean, look at the wonderful life saving work the Bill Gates foundation does with vaccines. And then those people are left live out their lives in incredibly challenging condition with other disease, conflict, poverty. As incredibly cruel as this sounds, we could discuss if it’s actually helping or prolonging suffering.


Sebee. We are talking hypothetically about a future driver dying. Clearly Twitch doesn’t want to answer the question, and seeing as there are no facts and data involved, this could be your big moment!

Lets say we fire up the delorean and explore two time lines between now and the end of the 2021 season. In the first time line there is no halo and when we get to 2021 one of the drivers is missing, in the second we have the halo and they are all still there. Do you Sebee, still make the decision to remove the halo?


Tim, please grant me the benefit of the doubt that actually seeing people die and/or get injured is NOT what I want to see.

However, as has been mentioned below, I am not in favour of diluting the challenge that is racing an open wheel, open cockpit race car.

Imagine for a second, a tight rope walker. Walks spans between skyscrapers, across the Grand Canyon….amazing stuff. Now, what if, instead of across massive gaps, the walker set his rop up 3 feet off the group with foam mats underneath.

Yes, he’s still tightrope walking, yes it still takes skill to balance on the rope….but watching it as a spectator, it’s not quite the same. Why? Because that element of danger is missing.

No one wants to see the tightrope walker fail and die (at least most don’t). We want to see him literally tip toe along the line that separates life from death.

And again, as has been mentioned…it’s not like driving an open cockpit open wheeled race car is a mandatory function that society relies on to function. All of these drivers volunteer for this, and they could all walk away at any second – even if they still want to race, but in safer cars, there is all kinds of different series out there to compete in.

The problem is again elite people wanting to burn the candle at both ends. Top drivers want to be in F1 because of the glamor and hoopla. They want all the status that comes with being an F1 driver or champion – yet they don’t want to deal with the very factors that make F1 racing, or winning an F1 championship, special.

Danny Pedrosa would probably crash a hell of a lot less if his bike had training wheels on it – but adding wheels to a motorcycle to make it safer changes the core of the challenge. Same as closing in the cockpit of an F1 car. Dealing with the danger is part of the challenge of F1. Every safety feature that gets added, dilutes the challange.

Ask yourself, really, just for a fun thinking exercise…is there a limit on how safe an F1 car should be? At what point does safety ruin F1 for you? It’ll be different for all of us, but everyone will have a line somewhere? Is the goal to make it so that any person could competitively drive an F1 car with zero risk of injury? So just for discussion, try to determine where your own line for “enough is enough with safety” might be.

Again, we (I) don’t want to see people die or get hurt. We want to see them flirt with death, and win!!


Twitch, I’m not accusing you of wanting to see people die, I’m asking you if you are willing to risk that happening just to make the cars look prettier.

I don’t see how the halo dilutes the challenge of driving an open wheel open cockpit race car, it doesn’t make it easier to drive those cars on the limit, which is of course what the challenge is.

Your tightrope walker analogy doesn’t work, in the grand canyon example the danger is the whole point of the exercise, in F1 it is not. For it to work there would have to be 20 people taking it in turns to run across the tightrope, and the fastest time wins. In that scenario the height of the wire wouldn’t matter, as that’s not the point of it. F1 is a race, it isn’t a test of bravery, it’s a test of speed. Being crowned the fastest and the best is what makes becoming an F1 champion special, it has nothing to do with the risks involved. Safety don’t dilute the challenge, because that’s not what the challenge is!

Is there a limit on how safe an F1 car should be? Of course, if they slowed them down to a crawl or made them remote controlled from the pits, then I would stop watching, but there’s no way that would ever happen, and the halo doesn’t put us anywhere nearer that point than we were before. As long as F1 remains at roughly the speeds seen today then the risk can not possibly be removed. Having cars travelling at over 200mph inevitably leads to the risk of unsurviveable impacts occuring, there is simply no way of removing that risk completely, and we are far far from that point now, the drivers continue to ‘flirt with death’ everytime they leave the pits.

If the halo crosses your ‘line in the sand’ of what is acceptable, then you have a decision to make. There is no way the FIA could possibly backtrack on a safety issue like this, so it is here to stay. For me it doesn’t affect the racing at all, so it doesn’t bother me at all.


Sorry but that makes no sense. I think most of us watch f1 to see a talented human performing at the top of their sport. Not how close to death they are.

Based on this thinking we should get rid of fire suites so we can enjoy the thrill of knowing a driver could burn in an instant, or get rid of the roll hoop just so we know a car landing upside down could land on a driver’s head.

Fulveo Ballabeo

Excellent post!


If you leave the cockpits open then the question you have to ask is whether the drivers think that it’s worth racing such cars. And obviously that’s a question for each driver to answer on an individual basis.



As I recall they were very much not in favour of the thong initially. Only after a protracted scare campaign and numerous brainwashing sessions from the FIA did they finally agree to it. I suspect they were just worn down and tired.

And even this year a number of drivers (mag and hulk) questioned the necessity of halo before they were told to keep their opinions to themselves.

Make the thong optional instead of mandatory and not a single driver will opt in.


Luke, the drivers were asked their opinion, and were overwhelmingly in favour.

Fulveo Ballabeo

Exactly! Keep preaching the truth, LukeC.


What’s up with my stars lol o.0 Must have been a wrong email address.

Fulveo Ballabeo

Or…wait for it…open cockpit F1 racing


I find it ironic that this safety push is starting at the pinnacle of motorsport where the elite of the world are suppose to be. Their level of driving should mitigate or reduce the risk of danger significantly. Possibly since the absolute elite don’t always make it and those with deep pockets do? Yet at the entry level of karting there is nothing being done as far as I know and there is no safety in terms of seat belts, monocoque, halo etc… Karting is also the entry point where skill levels will vary significantly and should be more prone to accidents, injuries. The driver are the most exposed with no seat belts or protection from impact if they are launched or a kart mounts them. I guess the real question is at WHAT POINT DO GO-KARTS BECOME BUMPER KARTS? And are we seeing drivers driving like they are in Bumper karts as a result? The FIA is all about safety yet I do not hear anything being developed to prevent a Billy Monger incident in the future with a crash structure mandatory in front of the drivers legs. Maybe if Billy filed litigation against the FIA like Bianchi did it would be their new safety push.


Has the FIA started designing a halo for karts yet? Or is there not enough money in karting for the FIA to give a hoot?


I love how everyone is talking about the cat that got hit…..but there’s no comments regarding the cat that did the hitting.

Go watch the full replays, instead of looking at a couple cell phone shots.

Ask yourself, would the car who did the hitting have made that big of a bone-head mistake had he grown up in an era where driving a car was actually dangerous?

Halo is exactly what F1 needs. The safer the cars get, the less regard for safety the drivers can take. That will lead to more spectacular crashes, which means a more exciting intro video, which will grow viewership.

Go the nascar route. Turn F1 cars into rolling tanks, hope for the “big one” every race.

Anyone notice how the last couple rounds, he commentary team on Sky has been literally begging for a safety car to spice up the action. Safer cars, more safety cars, more action. Cha-Ching$$$$


As a volunteer fire-fighter i have seen people being dead because of an air bag or safety belt. But way more often you see people surviving because of them. Like 5 people in a car, 4 with a belt surviving, the fifth without is catapulted through the window and dead. Driver drowned because he couldn’t open the belt (or was unconscious).

What we need to end the discussion: free F1 cars and free usage of race tracks for EVERYONE. So we have a bigger number of accidents for statistics to see how useful the HALO is.

I bet if the HALO haters would have lived 100 years earlier they would have said: ‘Remove these damn helmet from the drivers. After an accident people want to see their blood and sweet covered faces showing tears and fears… ‘


@ Seifenkistler….Why is it than everyone who puts forward an alternative viewpoint these days is automatically labelled as ‘a hater’. That is quite ridiculous and does nothing except up the ante re rhetoric. People do have differing opinions and they should be able to view those without being belittled. Consider this…what is the opposite of ‘hate’ ? In my book it is ‘love’ Therefore arfe all people who support the Halo ‘lovers’. That is as silly as the opposite. No one, except sickos, want to see drivers dying on the track but if there is another solution that satisfies the safety and the aesthetic principles why not pursue that as the best alternative to nothing. The fact that the ‘screen’ made one driver feel queasy was, IMO, not a good enough reason to abandon the concept.


Sorry. I wrote HALO-haters because there seem to be people who really hate it. Of cause not everyone who didn’t like the HALO is a ‘hater’.

As a person who never had English classes at school I was learning an early Trumpish-like language and not Oxford English from the kids of the nearby US garrison.

Sorry if my fight with the English language is using a brutal bastard sword and not the fine and elegant foil.

My English uses to be better once I start to think in English. But that happens very rarely, because it needs 3 hours English in a row for me.

Fulveo Ballabeo

I’d take that bet. No one wants to see anyone injured or killed. The halo haters hate halo because they love open cockpit F1 racing. And the halo monstrosity stole their passion from them. For no reason.

Helmets, HANS, Safer, etc. are fantastic safety gamechangers. None of which altered F1’a core open cockpit DNA like halo does.

Open cockpit is a known quantity when a driver enters it. If a driver doesn’t want open cockpit, no problem. There are plenty of other series with roofs and rollcages. So no reason to bastardize open cockpit F1 racing with halo.


Sorry but you’re misrepresenting the anti-halo argument. The argument is simply that f1 is an open cockpit formula and f1 drivers being adults should be given the freedom to do a risk vs reward analysis and then proceed accordingly.

No one is arguing for the removal of helmets and seat belts, but the reality is that safety, like everything in life, needs to be handled with finesse. In other words, the measures should be implemented within reason and within the framework dictated by the DNA of the sport. Otherwise where do you draw the line? You might as well limit the cars to 200 bhp and only allow them to race down a straight aircraft runway one at a time and in perfectly sunny conditions. That would make it even safer, but I think you’ll agree that something would be lost as a consequence. Same with the halo, it might make it a tiny bit safer in 0.00001 percent of accidents, but something is lost as a result, and that something that is lost has a value that far exceeds the benefits offered by halo.


Umm the GPDA is in favor of the halo so the drivers themselves disagree with you …


Luke, the ‘throttle works both ways’ argument has been rolled out every time any safety innovation has been introduced to F1.


That’s because there is some validity to it.

But that’s not really the point. As I’ve said earlier, safety, PUs, track design, aesthetics of the cars, all need to be handled with finesse. Unfortunately f1 has been guilty of havy handedness on all four counts.

It’s akin to a composer who composes a song that’s loud and fast at the start, in the middle, at the end, and at every second in between. It just doesn’t work.

A good composer, in contrast, composes with finesse. He understands that to create an impact on the listener there will need to be louder parts, quieter parts, he will vary the tempo, even change the time signatures where necessary in order to make it as dynamic and as moving as possible. And of course he will be selective and leave our certain ideas that don’t suit his purpose. F1 would do well to learn from that instead of just going to the max with everything and incorporating every idea under the sun into a hodge-podge of conflicting elements that we have the privilege of paying to enjoy today.


Luke, the design of the halo will be finessed over time, but it’s worth remembering that F1 isn’t a beauty contest. Your song analogy falls down because music is judged purely on its beauty, F1 is a speed competition.

Your accusation that the FIA rushed into the halo is unfair. After the fatal accidents of Henry Surtees and others, a need for driver’s head protection was identified. Many different proposals were analysed and tested before the halo was selected, it was tested extensively tested on the cars before its introduction, this whole process took around three years.


If FIA is a composer… then i hope they come up with Beethoven’s 9th. You know the start of the 9th?

Oh friends, not these sounds (HALO’s)!

Let us instead strike up (invent some) more pleasing

and more joyful ones!




After a bit of thought, here’s my take on this argument. Bear in mind that I am not an engineer and I am willing to stand corrected if necessary.
1. The halo, & subsequent next generation replacements, remain mandatory on all junior levels of open wheel single seat race cars up to & including F2. Think of them as students or journeyman trades.
2. The internal chassis support structures for the halo are mandatory in all F1 chassis. The halo itself it not mandatory. Driver decides as a personal preference. Drivers who opt not to mount the halo to its internal support structures are required to carry it equivalent weight within the chassis somewhere behind the headrest; i.e. at about the same height, albeit a bit further back. I understand that this will affect the point of CoG somewhat, perhaps advantageously or perhaps not. I’m not an engineer, remember.

This creates a scenario akin to that era of professional ice hockey when helmets became mandatory in the junior leagues but were player’s choice in the NHL. Younger players tended to choose to wear helmets. They had less years behind them without the helmet, so adapted more easily. The older pros continued to play with their heads exposed. All of the arguments I’ve read on JAonF1 and other sites express the same old story we had regarding hockey helmets back in the last century.
They are ugly. True.
They impair vision to some degree. True, especially for the older guys.
If you are a spectator, it’s harder to tell 1 player from another on a given team if you can’t see his name or number from your sight line. True in hockey. Less so in F1 because each driver can have a unique helmet colour scheme.
Alas, the NHL took that choice away from the players some years ago.
Can we not tweek the rules somewhat for 2019 onwards to leave this up to the driver’s choice. Hamilton, Vettel, Alonso, Kimi if he continues, would probably say no to the halo. The new drivers I’m betting would say yes, I’ll keep it.


Anyone catch Danny Pedrosa’s high side at the last motogp round at Jerez? Watch it in slow mo, and watch his face bounce off the pavement. Poor Danny, with his light weight, he high sides more often than anyone on the grid. He should definitely have a Halo installed on his bike.

Tornillo Amarillo

Hope nobody dies even WITH a halo (what if a wheel comes down vertical, maybe there is a non-protected spot there and it could happen).

What some people could say if somebody dies with the halo if already some people are against the halo when protecting the driver!


Like all the safety features that have been added over the years the Halo reduces the risk it doesn’t it eliminate it completely.


I am no nanny state fan. However, in a race a couple of years ago a young fella sheared a brake pad in braking zone into a hairpin, spun, launched up off the kerb and hit my car with his gearbox about 6″ behind my head. Wheel bounced off side of cockpit. Makes you think.


No way of knowing how hard his head would have been hit by the tyre, bit obvious it would have been hit, but I assume the car on top was heading towards the outside of the corner, that if it caught it in the wrong place would have hit the driver’s head. Might have been anything from a mild knock to death, no way of knowing. The tyre marks in the car and halo clearly showed it stopped intrusion to the cockpit head area.

But if I put it bluntly – how would you feel if it was your son coming home in a box? What if you were Mr and Mrs Makino arranging a funeral this week? Nothing is worth that pain, when it could have been prevented, even by a god ugly device. Roll on the shield, but live with the halo for now.


The parents could spare their pain if they never put their kid in car racing.

You’ve painted the perfect example here.

Rich ass parents put their kid into motoracing, because it’s “cool”, because it’s a status thing to say “my kid competes in F2,” yet, they are completely unable and unwilling to deal with the consequences of their choice to allow their son to go motor racing.

I want my kid to be the best snowboarder in the world, but I don’t want to see him get hurt. Therefor, we should flatten all the mountains, to make sure far fewer people get hurt snowboarding. Then, when my kid wins Olympic gold, I can cash in off his success. See, everyone wins 🙂

Fulveo Ballabeo

Exactly! Well said.


Hi James, would it be possible to include a photo of the tyre marks on Makino’s car? That would show where the impact actually was, and help with interpreting the other photos.


Yes I have them somewhere


Wow, some of these comments are a little chillilng, almost seems injury to the driver would have been a preferable outcome for many posters.


There would not have been injury. His helmet Hans and high sides were sufficient for the task here.


Sebee, there is no way you could possibly know that.


Oh, but you can know that Halo saved his life?

Look how far the wheel is from his head? There was less space between Vettel and Max in Singapore 2017!


Sebee, James says that the halo had tyre marks on it, sounds pretty close to me. The driver says it saved his life, and he probably had a better view of the incident than you.


You can take a halo apply it to Schumacher’s car in Abu Dhabi. Räikkönen’s car in Austria, Alonso’s car in Belgium or Brundle’s car at Oulton Park and make the same argument that judeging by the scuffs it saved their lives. When in fact without the halo the roll hoop tends to do enough to prevent anything from happening. To say the halo saved his life is conjecture at best.


That tyre hit forward of the roll hoop. Now, replay the incident as if the halo were not there.


One video from very far away and a few pictures are hardly relevant evidence.

It will never be known what would have happened in Spain without the halo, and anyone should be wary about any suggestion that halo is either useful OR useless with this as evidence.

It is however quite natural that FIA and their advocates are spreading the knowledge of this as much as possible, which is not a negative thing itself.

From what i can see in this crash scene, both the roll bar and the side protections did well what they are supposed to do when it comes to create a protection for the driver. Similar dynamics occurred in at least three other similar cases, without the halo.

* Crash between Rosberg and Karthikeyan in Abu Dhabi 2012: both drivers were unarmed.

* Grosjean and Alonso at Spa 2012 no halo and no injury.

* Raikkonen and Alonso in Austria 2015: no halo and the Mclaren literally topped the Ferrari cockpit, with no injured.

Is that proof that halo is useless? Of course not.


The only reason I notice the halo now is that it’s difficult to see the driver’s helmet colour. Ooh err missus.

Some form of driver identification by coloured wings, etc (as has been done before) is needed that’s more obvious than a relatively small and muted colour racing number we have now.


Pretty big crash if both drivers were “unarmed”. 😀


Lol,”no harm”, not “no arm” 😀


Indeed you are correct, it’s not proof. Those were different crashes.


A few points – we all wish for no deaths and injuries in any sport however:

1 – F1 is well and truly safe enough – and has been for years. In fact the continued efforts to make F1 safer in fact has made it more unsafe. Example is all the tarmac runoff areas results in drivers trying moves they never would have tried years ago – too much of a safety net.

2 – Drivers need to start taking massive pay cuts. 20-30m per year pays are a joke when there is little to no risk of anything. You cant have it both ways – very little risk with big payouts – wheres the skill if you can make all the errors in the world and get away without any sort of penalty?

3 – Very easy for the powers that be in F1 to see a few accidents, talk to a few engineers and expect the teams to implement, test and pay for the safety features. Maybe pay a bit more attention to race control – example with not bringing out a safely car when a car has run into the barrier on the outside of a fast corner in the torrential rain – Jules Bianchi anyone?


Only a few drivers get salaries that are really big. A lot of drivers get between $1m-$4m, which is not that much for what they do.

Also, you seem to forget Jules Bianchi. Or even Massa and the accident he had. F1 is still very dangerous. Might not see that big of a deal from your armchair, but the travels, the training, the long days doing promo, the expectations. Also, everybody seems to forget how all these drivers got here and what it took since they were kids.

I don’t know of any driver that at 18yo decided to be an F1 driver and made it. All these drivers made their choice when they were 7yo or something. Their families put a lot of investment in their choice. Maybe you some research how much it costs to run a kart for 1 year in a championship. All these drivers and their families have made that choice knowing that it might not lead to anything. So getting here 20 years later and getting these sort of salaries is not unfair imo.

Yes, I know some have sponsors, but it still takes lots of begging and convincing and you still need to win other championships and be at the top of your game.


This is so rediculous. If i decides what I wanted my occupation to be when I was 7, I should receive 1-4m per year?? Because I tried hard from a young age? Seriously, wtf.

The long days working out and doing promo….dude, have you ever worked a full day of manual labor in your life? You haven’t got the slightest clue what hard work is. The Chinese imagery workers who build circuits in the Middle East know what hard work is…the rich jack asses who drive on these circuits don’t have a fucking clue.

How is getting 1-4m per year to drive a car on 20 weekends a year worth 1-4m? By that logic, teachers should be making 10m per year, heart surgeons about 1-2 billion per year.

The value you place on a person who can drive a car in a circle very fast is completely out of whack.


I was just pointing out that these guys that “drive in a circle” get the amounts they get because of their talents and they also put a lot of work into it. You might disagree, thinking that only manual labour is hard work, but I have a different opinion on the matter. Instead of playing footbal and riding a bicycle, these guys were driving with their dads and mums from circuit to circuit, sleeping on a back seat, being thrown out of karts in accidents, having to deal with dissapointment at early age etc etc. They did not have the typical childhood. Also like TimW said, they get that because not very many can do what they do. Well, milions can drive a car, but that fast, not many.


What is a typical childhood? And why does anyone who has a non-typical childhood deserve a million dollar salary, because they had to sleep in the back of their dad’s car (I did that lots btw, don’t make millions). Your argument is so whack.

Having to deal with disappointment at an early age…lol. Guess my friend V, who lost his mother when we were 14, deserves to be a billionaire, no?

You guys need to read up on the history of sport in general, might learn a thing or two about why modern athletes makes so much (hint, it has to partially to do with compensation….even golfers can suffer injuries which would make life miserable in old age, knees, back, etc).

I also don’t think manual labor is the only kind of hard work, but driving a car in a circle for a living certainly does not count as hard work. Getting sweaty in the gym staying in shape doesn’t constitute hard work, sorry. You’ve said you disagree that manual labor isn the only kind of hard work….but then you don’t expand on that. What constitutes hard work, in your opinion?


Twitch. F1 drivers earn what they are worth. Ferrari pay Sebastian 50m a year because they think he is worth that much. F1 drivers salaries aren’t based on the level of risk involved, or the number of hours they work, they are based on the fact that they have a skill set that very few people on the planet possess. If you look at other sports, the film and music industries and big business you will see similarly high amounts paid to people who can do what most of us cannot.

It is not Bogdan’s value of people who can drive in a circle that matters, or even yours, it is how the teams value them that matters.

If you had an F1 team, how much would you offer as a salary? And who do you think you would get for that?


Twitch, I have actually only asked you two questions, one of which only really required a yes or no answer, I think the comments section can handle that. To be fair you have half answered one of them, but yet again your examples don’t really add up. According to the World health organisation there are over thirty thousand neurosurgeons worldwide, apparently the USAF alone employs over five thousand fighter pilots and Nasa currently employs 44 astronauts. So the first two don’t compare very well to the 20 F1 drivers, astronauts is closer but there really isn’t a need for many more than that, although they used to have around 150 on the books. My point remains unchallenged really doesn’t it? The number of drivers able to command the real big salaries isn’t even 20, more like 4 or 5 really, so your comparisons become even less convincing when you take that into account.

I appreciate the half answer surrounding the salary you would pay, apparently somewhere around the one to two hundred thousand a year mark? I can answer the second part for you with that information, you might get Jolyon Palmer for that kind of money, and maybe Kvyat in the second car. Doesn’t sound like ‘Twitch F1’ will have Mercedes quaking in their boots does it……


Can’t answer all your question Tim, the comments section won’t let me lol.

Me implying that you said F1 is no dangerous was me being rediculous, following the example of many of the pro halo folk who automatically jump to these absurd conclusions about why people want the halo gone. It was me taking something you said, and making something absurd out of it, to fit my agenda. I’ve learned so much in my time on these boards.

You say F1 drivers make their money because it’s a rare skill. So is being a brain surgeon. So is being an F22 fighter pilot, or an Astronaught….no pilots anywhere are making F1 money lol.

If I had the power to determine what F1 drivers should be payed, I’d say it should be more in line with those professions I mentioned.


Twitch, top golfers, snooker players, bankers, singers and actors all earn huge salaries, despite there being no danger in their professions. Like I said before, they earn that kind of money because they can do things that very few people can do.

I am arguing that no part of an F1 driver’s reatainer is based on the risks involved, that simply isn’t how these things work. Market forces set their salaries, Ferrari pay Seb so much because that is what it took to get his signature, if they hadn’t offered him that much then he might have stayed at Red Bull or gone elsewhere.

Where do I say that there is no danger in F1? Only a fool would believe that is true.

P.S, I believe I have answered every question you have asked me on this thread, perhaps you could return the favour?


Tim, F1 drivers, along with pretty much most pro athletes, receive higher than average salaries (most make in the 6 figure range at minimum, which is far above average) partially because of the danger and risk involved. Not all sports are as dangerous as F1, but even in soccer, part of the players’s salary is to compensate for potential injury that could give them grief later in life.

Are you arguing that no part of an F1 driver’s salary is to compensate for the danger, implying that there is no danger in F1? 😉


I’m really confused how anyone can look at the photos and then decide that the halo is safety overkill. It’s just probably saved that drivers life. That’s why it’s there, that’s why it’s a good thing.

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