It was the moment that left fans and even Formula 1 teams with hearts in their mouths when Fernando Alonso's McLaren soared over the top of Charles Leclerc.

The incident occurred on the very first corner of the opening lap of the Belgium Grand Prix and claimed several drivers.

Leclerc was saved by the halo on his car, an initiative which was only implemented this season to protect drivers' exposed helmets.

"I felt the impact and looking at the image it is quite spectacular. It was lucky," said Leclerc, whose family have close ties with that of the late French driver Jules Bianchi who died of head injuries in 2015. "I got quite a lot of messages. My mum called me quite a lot of times. Everyone was quite worried."

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As fans clamoured to get their eyes onto replays of the insane scenes at the first turn, stunning images of the crash flooded social media.

But now the most stunning footage of the incident has come to light with the official F1 account sharing a 360 view from the front of Leclerc's Sauber.

As the race gets underway the camera rotates to face the 20-year-old driver who had started from 13th spot on the grid.

The footage shows just how lucky Leclerc was and just how close Alonso's car came to collecting the young Monacan.

Another angle from the crash was posted to Reddit and showed a frame by frame breakdown of the McLaren soaring into the air.

As the footage slows down, you can see Alonso's front suspension collect Leclerc's halo before deflecting the car away.

"We can end the HALO discussion now. It will save lives," tweeted 2016 world champion Nico Rosberg after seeing the images.

Formula One race director Charlie Whiting said the governing FIA would be contacting Sauber for more information about any damage to the halo. "I think what is clear is the significant tyre marks on both the chassis and the halo," he said.

"It looks like it's had a fairly hefty whack.

"It doesn't take much imagination to think that the tyre marks would have actually been on Charles' head. It would be a bit of a miracle if they weren't, had the halo not been there."

The incident was caused by Renault driver Nico Hulkenberg who entered the first corner far too heavy and had to slam on his brake before he slammed into the back of Alonso which launched him into the air.

Hulkenberg was handed a 10 place grid penalty for next weekend's Italian Grand Prix for causing the collision that brought out the safety car. "It was nasty, it doesn't look great. It's my bad, my mistake. Today it went wrong quite badly. I'll accept it and move on," he said.