Zhou Guanyu walked away from the huge crash that red-flagged the British Grand Prix on the opening lap on Sunday, and the Chinese driver was thankful to the marshals and medical team for their quick response to the incident.
The Alfa Romeo F1 Team ORLEN driver was pitched into a frightening roll after being hit by George Russell as they approached the first corner at Silverstone, and upside down he went across the gravel trap. He dug into the gravel and was launched over the tyre barrier into the catch fencing before coming to rest between the two.
Luckily for Zhou, the halo head protection device did what it needed to do and protected him from harm, and the marshals and medical crew were able to extract him from the car and take him to the medical centre where he was cleared of injury.
“It was a big crash and I’m glad I’m ok,” said Zhou. “The marshals and the medical team at the track were fantastic with their quick response, and I also owe my thanks to the FIA and Formula 1 for all the work they have done, and they keep doing, to improve the safety of our cars: the Halo saved me today, and it goes to show that every step we take in improving our cars has real, valuable results.
Zhou is already eager to get back behind the wheel of his C42-Ferrari and will get the chance this coming weekend at the Red Bull Ring in Austria.
“I’m keener than ever to get back on track and do what I love: I’m fit and I’m looking forward to Austria next week,” he said.
“The Halo is one of the greatest innovations in F1” – Valtteri Bottas
Team-mate Valtteri Bottas was also forced to retire from the race at Silverstone, with the Finn suffering with a gearbox issue that saw him fall down the pack and out of the points.
Bottas was pleased that Zhou was able to escape injury in the crash at the start, and he believes the halo is one of the best innovations Formula 1 has introduced in recent years when it comes to safety in the sport.
However, it was ultimately a disappointing and pointless weekend for Alfa Romeo, but the pace the Finn felt he had gives him confidence heading into Austria.
“First and foremost, the main thing today is that Zhou is fine,” said Bottas. “It was a big shunt, and I’m glad that nothing serious happened and that he has already been cleared by the FIA.
“Today, we got additional proof on how the Halo is one of the greatest innovations in F1, and how safety has improved in recent years.
“For what concerns my race, we had a lot of opportunities after the restart, but we had an issue with the gearbox, so I ultimately had to stop to prevent further damage. It was unfortunate because we had good pace and we could have scored a big amount of points.
“Even though it’s been a tough weekend, we can still draw some positives: the pace we showed on track was a good sign, and I think we can be competitive in Austria next weekend.”