'I don't know how I survived' - Zhou recounts horrifying Silverstone crash ahead of Austrian GP

By Sports Desk July 07, 2022

Zhou Guanyu acknowledged he is lucky to be alive following his horrific crash at Silverstone last weekend.

The British Grand Prix was red-flagged on the opening lap following Alfa Romeo driver Zhou's terrifying shunt at turn one.

After George Russell's Mercedes careered into Zhou following contact with Pierre Gasly of AlphaTauri, the Chinese driver's car flipped over and subsequently shot across the gravel, over the barrier and into the catch fence protecting spectators.

There was a worrying wait at Silverstone before it was confirmed the 23-year-old was not seriously hurt.

And Zhou, who is the first Chinese driver to compete in Formula One, reflected on the incident ahead of the Austrian Grand Prix this weekend, for which he received an all-clear to compete on Thursday.

"I had a massive hit and flipped over, going at a very constant speed but quite fast into the gravel and I realise that I'm not getting stopped," he remembered.

"So, I tried to release myself from the steering wheel and into a very locked position, making sure I'm solid inside myself waiting for the final impact. That's what causes injury and is the big issue.

"Once I stopped, I didn't know where I was because I was upside down. Then there was some leaking, but I didn't know from where. I wasn't sure if it was my body or if it was the car!

"So, I just tried to switch the engine off. I knew if the fire started it would be difficult to get out. I don't know how I survived. But looking back, obviously the halo saved me there.

"It did not hurt, but it was very cold on my left-hand side, so I didn't know if it was blood or if I had no feeling on my left-hand side."

Zhou also paid tribute to Russell.

He did not know at the time, but the Mercedes driver stopped his car before running over to check on his counterpart, sacrificing his part in the rest of the race as a result.

"One man made conversation with me, making sure I was OK," Zhou continued.

"Looking at the pictures, seeing George jump out of the car, calling the marshals, it was very respectful and sportsmanlike. Very nice to see people like him trying to make sure everyone is safe."

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