Yesterday, following his horrific first lap crash which saw Nico Hulkenberg‘s Renault barrel-roll before coming to rest upside down against the barriers, left many feeling that this was such a scenario.
For agonising seconds the cameras showed no movement from the car, and then flames began to spit at the rear.
As the team called on the German driver to find out if he was OK, following a long wait there was prolonged expletive before Hulkenberg replied that he was “hanging upside down like a cow”, quickly adding that “there is a fire at the back, there is a fire at the back”.
Moments later, the car righted, Hulkenberg was out of the car and signalling the crowd that all was well.
In his post-race debrief, FIA race director, Charlie Whiting, insisted that the Halo was not a hindrance in the German’s rescue.
“Quite clearly that was one of the sort of accidents the halo was designed to help with,” said the Briton. “It provides more space for the driver once the car is upside down.
“That was one of the things we wanted to make sure was still possible,” he added, referring to the trials of the devise before its introduction this season.
“When you have an accident like that the radio from the car is automatically routed to race control so we get immediate information,” he revealed. “Drivers normally say ‘I’m OK’ or ‘I’m fine,’ and we relay that to the doctors on their way to the scene. Then they can take their time to get the car righted and let him get out. We knew he was OK and there was nothing to worry about there. So the routine under those circumstances is to put the car back on its wheels, which has to be done carefully of course. Once back on its wheels he was able to get out by himself.
“It was very controlled from what I could see,” he added, “and our medical delegate was more than happy with the way it was done. It all worked exactly as it should.”
Check out our Sunday gallery from Yas Marina, here.