Fans of Formula 1 were left stunned during the first corner of the Belgian Grand Prix on Sunday after Fernando Alonso’s McLaren car flew over Charles Leclerc’s Sauber in a heartstopping collision.
Fortunately both drivers, along with German Nico Hulkenberg who caused the incident, escaped unharmed, although footage - scroll down for twitter video - shows just how nerve-shredding the moment was.
Hulkenberg, who subsequently received a 10-place grid penalty for the upcoming Italian Grand Prix, said in the aftermath of the race:
“I think I got surprised a little bit with the amount of little grip I have. What we see often on Lap 1 these cars you know when you have a few guys bunched up in front of you. You lose so much load and grip on the car and that caught me by surprise.
“I misjudged my braking point just a bit too late, instantly locked up the front axel, both my tyres, there was no stopping the accident.”
Meanwhile, Leclerc was understandably thankful for the part the new halo head-protection device played in helping him escape unharmed, after replays show that Alonso’s car was deflected by the halo.
“Well obviously it helped me out and I’m grateful for that,” said Leclerc, whereas Alonso said: “The halo today was a very good thing to have.”
Meanwhile, Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel won the race, followed by Lewis Hamilton in 2nd and Max Verstappen, meaning Hamilton’s lead at the summit of the standings has been reduced to 17 points.