There was drama, very early on at the Belgian Grand Prix. Renault driver Nico Hulkenberg misjudged his braking and went out of control. He inadvertently used McLaren’s Fernando Alonso as a substitute brake, much to the latter’s chagrin. In the process, Alonso’s helpless MCL33 bunny-hopped over Charles LeClerc’s Sauber.
Later on, it transpired that Daniel Ricciardo and Kimi Raikkonen were indirectly involved. As it turned out, Alonso’s front wing bumped into Ricciardo, who in turn rear-ended Kimi. the Red Bull driver and the Ferrari driver were able to continue but the other 3 were out. Later on, Raikkonen pulled into the pits to retire. Ricciardo was able to survive for a handful of laps before he too pulled in.
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The first lap accident was a real testament of the effectiveness of the HALO. As Alonso affirmed, it certainly lived up to the task of preventing LeClerc from being decapitated. For any fan, witnessing such a crash would be enough for anyone to lose their lunch. Fortunately, all 3 drivers escaped unscathed and lived to fight another day.
There were several camera angles, capturing the various points of view and the onboard grabs from different drivers. This was enough to highlight how scary the crash was.
Hulkenberg later confessed that it was a case of driver error that caused the accident. For his role in causing the accident, he was given 3 penalty points on his superlicense. In addition to that, the 31-year old was also handed a 10-place grid penalty, to be served in Monza.
The Italian Grand Prix will be upon us in just a week’s time, can Ferrari win in their own backyard? Or will Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton spoil the party? And what about the Red Bulls? Only time will tell as to who will triumph at the Temple of Speed.