Russell says lessons must be learned from 'scary' Zhou crash

By Sports Desk July 04, 2022

George Russell says Formula One must learn lessons from the "scary" Zhou Guanyu crash that overshadowed Sunday's British Grand Prix.

The race at Silverstone was red flagged early on after Russell was clipped by Pierre Gasly on the first corner and subsequently caught Zhou.

Zhou's Alfa Romeo flipped over, rolled numerous times and only stopped when hitting the safety barrier in front of the spectators.

The 23-year-old was stuck upside down in the car due to being wedged below the fence, with safety crews struggling to reach him as the race was delayed by an hour.

While Zhou later provided an update to confirm he was "okay", Russell hopes governing body the FIA will thoroughly investigate the incident so a repeat can be avoided.

"Firstly, I'm glad to see Zhou's okay," Russell said. "It was an incredibly scary incident, not just for him but for everyone in the crowd as well. It's never nice to see.

"It was horrible. In that position he was stuck there, with nothing he could have done. We need to have a think to avoid a car being stuck in such a fine gap.

"The space between the barriers and the metal fence and he was just stuck in there, nowhere to go. Yeah, something to learn…"

Zhou, who is debuting this season in F1, was taken to a nearby hospital for checks and released later on Sunday.

He put his lucky escape down to the halo head-protection device that has been used since 2018.

"It was a big crash and I'm glad I'm okay," he said. "The marshals and the medical team at the track were fantastic with their quick response.

"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, and it goes to show that every step we take in improving our cars has real, valuable results."

Williams driver Alex Albon also required medical attention following a separate incident in the early throes of an action-packed race that was won by Carlos Sainz.

Albon was catapulted into the pit wall after being rammed by Sebastian Vettel, though like Zhou he escaped without any physical injuries.

"I'm very glad that everyone else involved in the first-lap incident is okay," he said. "Thank you to the medical staff at the track and Coventry hospital.

"It's a shame the race ended before it began today but we are already fully focused on Austria [this coming weekend]. Bring on the next one."

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