Hamilton: Halo device saved me

Lewis Hamilton said he felt fortunate to be alive after a collision with Formula One title rival Max Verstappen at the Italian Grand Prix on Sunday.

The 36-year-old was jockeying for position with the Red Bull driver on lap 26 and the two collided, with Verstappen's car landing on top of Hamilton's Mercedes, and the rear tyre hitting the seven-time champion's helmet.

Verstappen, who walked away uninjured, was found "predominantly to blame". Race stewards handed him a three-place grid penalty for the Sept 26 Russian GP.

The halo cockpit safeguard, which protects the driver's head, deflected Verstappen's rear tyre away from Hamilton's head and on to the front of the car. It has been used on the F1 circuit since 2018.

"Honestly, I feel very, very fortunate today," Hamilton added. "Thank God for the halo. That ultimately saved me. And saved my neck.

"I think in the actual moment it was a big hit, but all I could think was to get going again."

A few hours after the accident, Hamilton said his neck was hurting. He might see a specialist, but added that he'll live. - REUTERS