Whiting defends Hulkenberg extraction process despite Halo

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FIA race director Charlie Whiting denied the halo cockpit safety device had compromised Nico Hulkenberg's extraction from his Renault after the German driver's opening lap crash in Abu Dhabi.

A contact with Haas' Romain Grosjean at Yas Marina's Turn 9 pitched Hulkenberg into a roll, with the Renault landing upside down against the outside barrier, its driver unable to exit the cockpit.

As marshals and the medical car rushed to the scene, Hulkenberg kept his cool but pressed for a swift exit as a small fire had ignited at the back of the car.

The Renault was eventually righted, its driver exiting the cockpit on his own. For Whiting, the entire procedure had been handled correctly while the halo had fulfilled its protective role.

"Quite clearly that's one of the sort of accidents the halo was designed to help with," Whiting told Motorsport.com when queried on the incident.

"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.

"We knew he was OK and there was nothing to worry about there," he added.

"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, and our medical delegate was more than happy with the way it was done. It all worked exactly as it should."

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