Hulkenberg punished for provoking five-car Belgian GP crash

WATCH: Spectacular Alonso crash proves worth of halo

While many drivers and fans were against the introduction of the halo system this season - with some seeing it as unsightly and a hindrance - many have praised it for appearing to save Leclerc from serious injury on Sunday.

Daniel Ricciardo and Kimi Raikkonen also suffered damage as a result of the crash and although both were able to continue, they later retired as a result of the collision.

FIA safety delegate Charlie Whiting believes Charles Leclerc would likely have been struck in the helmet by part of Fernando Alonso's auto had it not been for his Halo in the Belgian Grand Prix. At the start of the 2012 edition, Romain Grosjean - then driving for Lotus - misjudged the braking zone and was pitched into an nearly identical crash over the top of Alonso's auto.

He ended the critical lap 1.5secs behind, after which the race settled into a familiar pattern, with Vettel building a comfortable lead of about five seconds or so and holding it there, and Verstappen equally safe in third almost 30 seconds behind. "I had a good restart after the safety vehicle, and after that it was a very smooth race", he added.

'The Stewards reviewed video evidence, heard from the driver of auto 27 (Nico Hulkenberg) and the team representatives.

This wasn't the first time Alonso crashed in Spa, as he was also involved in an incident in 2012.

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Hulkenberg later took responsibility for the crash, which could have had grave consequences without the Halo, new in Formula One this year.

Hulkenberg...said: "I misjudged my braking point a little bit and there was no real time to recover it. You arrive at a speed where it's impossible to negotiate the corner".

"I saw the replay and how good was the proof for the halo", Alonso told the BBC.

"The positive side is that we all three are okay, including Charles. I was definitely happier that I had the halo - we don't need to prove that it's a good thing".

Hulkenberg received a 10-place grid penalty at the next race for the incident, but all three were uninjured.

The statement added: "It should be noted that since 2014 the FIA has introduced the penalty points system, which takes into account previous offences by a driver and can lead to a race suspension if 12 points are accumulated within a 12-month period".

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