Scary crash during the F2 Sprint Race in Zandvoort: Maini’s single-seater lands above Boschung’s car. The halo saves his life.
This year, we are getting used to wet races; most of the European Grands Prix took place in the rain. Formula 2 drivers couldn’t wait to get back in the car after four weeks, and the first race after the summer break was in Zandvoort, Holland.
Zandvoort is a difficult track, with two banked corners. Although it’s a short circuit where it is difficult to overtake, the action on track never fails. This year the weather significantly affected the race week. The qualifying session was interrupted three times because of red flags. Crawford managed to take pole position, with Hauger and Vesti behind him.
On Sunday, the Sprint Race started behind the safety car because of the rain. Still, the drivers couldn’t complete even the first lap due to a collision between three cars. The drivers involved were Crawford and the two teammates of the Campus team, Kush Maini and Ralph Boschung. After turn 3, Crawford and Maini touched; the former spun out, but the other cars managed to avoid him. Then he went straight into the barriers.
Maini after the contact, stayed on track and tried to turn the car. However, because of the poor visibility on the track, his teammate, Ralph Boschung, didn’t see him and went straight against him.
Due to the force of the impact, Maini’s car lifted from the ground and went on top of Boschung’s. Both of them end up crashing into the barriers.
— Formula 2 (@Formula2) August 26, 2023
If it was not for the halo, the risk of crushing the head of the driver below was very high, given the precariousness of the position of the car on top of him.
Luckily, all three drivers came out uninjured from the collision. Boschung, limping slightly, got out
of the car and went to check out his teammate.
Given the gravity of the crash and to repair the barriers, the red flag was displayed. All the drivers returned to the pits. Fixing the barriers required more time than expected, so the race should have restarted with only 22 minutes left. However, the condition of the track got worse because of heavy showers.
After a first attempt to bring out the drivers behind the safety car, the race direction decided to suspend the race permanently.
The number of laps on track without the safety car was not enough to assign points to the race. Unlucky for the first three drivers, Hadjar’s victory and Martins and Bearman’s podium couldn’t be celebrated.
The halo was made mandatory in 2018 after many crashes where a lot of drivers lost their lives. Although it was initially criticized, the halo saved many lives in different categories of motorsport. For example, Lewis Hamilton at Monza in 2021 or Zhou Guanyu at Silverstone in 2022.
In 2020, Grosjean risked his life after he lost control of the car and crashed into metallic barriers. If it was not for the halo, Grosjean would have died instantly due to the strong impact.
In Formula 2 or Formula 3, there are a lot of young drivers still not yet experienced, and serious crashes happen. In Formula 3 at Spa, Martì rejoined the track unsafely, crashing with another driver. Luckily, both of them came out of their car uninjured, but they risked serious injuries. The halo and other systems inside and outside the car made the sport safer and saved many lives.