Lewis Hamilton feels he is fortunate to be alive after Max Verstappen’s car landed on his head during the Italian Grand Prix. The pair were battling for position on the opening lap when Verstappen’s car mounted the Mercedes.
Fortunately for Hamilton, the Red Bull was stopped from crushing his head by the halo, which was only introduced into F1 three years ago.
And the seven-time world champion is extremely grateful for the new directive which subsequently saved his life.
“I feel very fortunate today,” said Hamilton. “Thank God for the halo which saved me, and saved my neck.”
The Briton added: “I am so grateful I am still here. I feel incredibly blessed that someone was watching over me today.
“I don’t think I’ve ever been hit on the head by a car before – and it is quite a big shock for me.
“We are taking risks and it’s only when you experience something like that that you get the real shock of how you look at life and how fragile we all are.
“If you look at the images of the crash, my head is really quite far forward in the cockpit.”
Hamilton and Verstappen were not able to continue the race and the latter was slapped with a three-place grid penalty.
Mercedes star Hamilton explained that he had a sore neck in the immediate aftermath of the race.
“The halo stopped the crash from being a lot worse and I’m incredibly grateful to all those that work to make our cars and racing safer.
“The support I receive from you keeps me pushing and fighting. I’m so thankful for each and every one of you, you are truly the best. Still we rise!”
Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff said: “The halo definitely saved Lewis’ life today. Without it, it would have been a horrible accident which I don’t even want to think about.
“The championship was good fun up until now but we saw the halo save Lewis’ life today. We don’t want to see someone seriously hurt.”