Alfa Romeo driver Guanyu Zhou says the halo saved his life in his huge crash at the start of the British Grand Prix.
Zhou had started from ninth place and got away well but then was tagged by George Russell after the Mercedes driver was tapped into a spin by Pierre Gasly on a congested pit straight. The contact sent Zhou upside down at high speed and then his car dug into the gravel, flipping him over the tire barrier and into a catch fence before landing the wrong way up against the barrier.
“It was a big crash and I’m glad I’m OK,” Zhou said. “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. 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.”
Team principal Frederic Vasseur echoed Zhou’s comments, saying the incident is far more important than anything else that happened during the race as both Alfa Romeo drivers retired.
“I think we can all agree that the most important thing today is seeing Zhou come out of such a huge crash without any injury,” Vasseur said. “What we witnessed were dramatic scenes, and once again we have to thank the great improvements in safety spearheaded by the FIA and Formula 1 for a positive outcome.
“The work to improve safety in our sport is never done and today reminds us of just how important this is; Zhou is OK and fit to race in Austria next week, and this is the big victory of the day.”