Guanyu Zhou, Alfa Romeo, Silverstone, 2022

British GP stopped after Zhou’s car clears tyre barrier in huge start crash

2022 British Grand Prix

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The British Grand Prix has been stopped on the first lap of the race after a major crash at the first corner involving seven drivers.

Zhou Guanyu’s Alfa Romeo flipped into the air and cleared a tyre barrier following a multi-car collision involving George Russell and Pierre Gasly. The race was immediately red-flagged.

The Alfa Romeo struck a debris fence on the outside of the Abbey corner and came to a rest upside down between it and the tyre wall.

The medical team attended to Zhou, who was taken away on a stretcher. Russell stopped at the crash scene and got out of his car while Gasly returned to the pits.

A second crash occurred as following drivers tried to avoid the unfolding collision. Sebastian Vettel and Alexander Albon made contact, which sent the Williams into the pit wall. From there he spun into the path of Esteban Ocon and Yuki Tsunoda.

The FIA subsequently confirmed Zhou and Albon were taken to the medical centre and were conscious when they arrived. Zhou remains under observation while Albon is being taken by helicopter to Coventry Hospital for precautionary checks.

Zhou’s team mate Valtteri Bottas was subsequently told by his team: “Zhou is conscious, he is talking, there is no fractures and considering the circumstances he is pretty good.”

The race later restarted with the cars in their original starting position, minus those which had retired from the race. The stewards have confirmed no investigation is necessary over the incident.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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11 comments on “British GP stopped after Zhou’s car clears tyre barrier in huge start crash”

  1. Terrifying stuff. The whole event was brutal. The flipping over. The literal grating of the car as it skid through the gravel. The jumping over the tyre barrier.
    The fact he’s not more injured, or worse, is a testament to all the safety measures the sport has… as well as a bit of a miracle mixed in.

  2. Incredible.

    BBC says the drivers involved are conscious and undergoing medical checks. I hope all are well.

    What can you say, but the Halo has without doubt saved another life.

  3. It’s starting to become a habbit for brits in Mercedes cars to try to kill other drivers in their home race.

    1. To be fair, the fault was Gasly going for a gap which wasn’t there and then clipping Russell who in turn swerved into Zhou.
      There’s nothing the Brit could do about that. Thankfully the Halo saved the day.

    2. Silly comment.
      It was an unfortunate incident based on three drivers in close proximity.

      Nothing like, for example, Bottas’ incident in Hungary or Lewis vs. Max last year.

  4. Does anyone think, mercedes sidepod actually resulting in flipping. Where as traditional sidepods may just dash

  5. It’s just as well Zhou’s halo made up for the fact that his roll structure hopelessly failed due to the car dropping onto it from a centre of gravity height of perhaps 1 metre. That was totally unacceptable.

    The Alfa Romeo is the only car on the grid that still runs the ‘roll blade’ design that originates from I think Mercedes in 2010. I hated that back then, and wish that they will now finally realise this design, whilst it passes the regulatory static load test, is weak when exposed to a real world dynamic impact. A roll blade is a single cantilever structural element, whereas a roll hoop features two elements that support each other and provide a cleaner path for impact loads to be absorbed.

    He’s not dead, so no doubt they won’t address this failure until something more significant happens.

    1. I wonder if that’s why they retired Bottas.

    2. I could see them having to sit out races if they can’t redesign the car

  6. Whilst I am very relieved that Zhou has not suffered any serious injury, the thing that I took away from this crash was the fact that the car managed to leapfrog the tyre barrier and go into the wire fence. This should be very concerning to the FIA.

    If I was the FIA I would be putting the vast majority of any resource looking at this crash into how that happened.

    Sounds harsh but if the FIA are not being seen to maximising the safety of spectators then this is a problem, you simply cant ask spectators to accept this kind of risk. The drivers know that there is always a chance that they may get killed when they get in the cockpit (albeit small chance and thankfully getting smaller with each off-season) but spectators should not be thinking the same when they go to a race.

  7. That looked really scary. How quick the car got turned on it roll hoop. And then how it barrelled over the tyre barrier, that should get a close look to improve and make sure this cannot happen again.

    I am so glad he seems to be as good as could be. But what a tough luck does Zhou have. How many times was he running a solid race and the car broke down. And here he had a great grid place and then was only a passenger in the incident.

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