Guanyu Zhou, Alfa Romeo, Silverstone, 2022

FIA confirms roll hoop design changes in wake of Zhou crash

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In the round-up: The FIA have confirmed that the design of roll hoops on Formula 1 cars will be changed in a bid to avoid similar accidents to the one experienced by Zhou Guanyu at Silverstone

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In brief

FIA confirms roll hoop design changes in wake of Zhou crash

The FIA have confirmed that the design of roll hoops on Formula 1 cars will be changed in a bid to avoid similar accidents to the one experienced by Zhou Guanyu at Silverstone.

Alfa Romeo driver Zhou survived a frightening accident at the start of the British Grand Prix when he was pitched upside down by contact with his helmet millimetres from the track before his car dug into a gravel trap and rolled.

Despite his roll hoop breaking off his car after his half-roll, Alfa Romeo later confirmed that his roll hoop had not technically failed, but that the forces placed on the roll hoop in the accident exceeded the threshold they are tested for.

From next season, roll hoop designs will be modified, such as featuring a rounded top in a bid to reduce the risk of them digging into the ground in an accident and a new load test applied on the hoops in a forward direction. The FIA say that roll hoop tests will be overhauled to make them more stringent.

“It was evident that an update to the requirements for the roll hoops was needed after the crash of Zhou Guanyu at Silverstone,” said FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem.

“While this incident showed us all how remarkable the safety systems in Formula 1 are, it also proved once again that we must continue to innovate and pursue safety matters without compromise.”

Lundgaard signs extension with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing

Christian Lundgaard has signed a multi-year extension with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing to keep him in the IndyCar Series with the team beyond 2023.

Lundgaard, who is competing in his rookie season in IndyCar in 2022, is 15th in the drivers’ standings with 272 points with a best finish of second place in last month’s Gallagher Grand Prix in Indianapolis.

“I am so pleased with Christian’s progress with the team and within the series,” said team owner Bobby Rahal.

“He has shown that he can be a force to be reckoned with in these races. He works well within the team, and we are pleased that we are continuing for the next several years because I believe he will continue to improve and be a potential winner in the very near future.”

Wolff departs Venturi Formula E team

Venturi Formula E CEO Susie Wolff has announced she will leave the team during its transition into Maserati ahead of next season.

Wolff was previously the team principal of the Monaco based team, before moving to the role of CEO and being replaced by Jerome D’Ambrosio. Venturi finished the 2022 Formula E season second in the team’s championship, losing the title in the final round after taking five wins with Edoardo Mortara and Lucas di Grassi.

“When I joined Venturi, my goal was to build a team that was not just successful on track, but stood for a greater purpose,” Wolff said in a post on social media.

“Little did I know four years ago the scale of the challenges we would face as a team. It was these tough moments that defined the resilience, faith and trust that we have built in each other: to come from racing at the back to consistently fighting for victories and titles. It was an honour to have led and represented such a talented and motivated group of people.”

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Comment of the day

Charles Leclerc can be forgiven for feeling frustrated at how his championship bid has slowly disintegrated over 2022, but @bascb believes Leclerc still has room to grow as a driver himself…

Funny how the article is formulated as if it is Leclerc’s right to challenge for that title and be the no. 1 at the team. Sure, he is the faster of them, able to get magic out of the car quite often. And he is really good at racing, attacking and defending.

But just like Ferrari as a team have things they badly need to do – get a strategist who actually watches what is going on out there on track and react/predict and be flexible AND learn how to do that in a timely manner, sort out their reliability – Leclerc has to learn as well. He does seem to have gotten over the thing where he went through his tyres a lot faster, but yes, he needs to be the one to tell his team what he wants, has to read he races himself.

We’ve seen the likes of Vettel, Alonso, Hamilton, and Verstappen as well do that – ask about where the race is going, watching what was going on off the big screens and anticipating etc. Sainz seems also capable of doing that, and it helps him even out the lack of top performance with his teammate.

This year the title is out of their hands. Ferrari should stop overthinking their races. Just get out there, make the car fast, focus on having their drivers get the most out of it on Saturday and prepare for Sunday. And on Sunday cut the mistakes, make timely decisions and get the drivers’ input in the loop. If that all works, they might have another shot (if things go south reliability wise at Red Bull) or at least can stay ahead of a slower but far more consistently scoring Mercedes team.

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Luts and Electrolite!

On this day in motorsport

  • On this day in 1952 Ferrari dominated the first Dutch Grand Prix, Alberto Ascari leading a one-two-three at Zandvoort. Mike Hawthorn was fourth for Cooper, two laps down, having impressively out-qualified Luigii Villoresi’s Ferrari

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Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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16 comments on “FIA confirms roll hoop design changes in wake of Zhou crash”

  1. I see Rahal doesn’t have particularly high aspirations for Lundgaard given that he only believes the driver will become, in the future, and after improvement, a ‘potential’ winner. Keeping it real I guess.

  2. That picture – jeez louise. There couldn’t be a better advert for the halo. I regret hating it initially.

  3. Long post warning:
    Not much point for AT to make drivers’ eye/helmet cam view videos if they artificially cover the steering wheel display anyway, necessary or unnecessary.
    Nothing extraordinary in F1 (or racing cars generally, for that matter) steering wheel displays, so redundant.
    Mostly just the same basic info, i.e., selected gear, ERS bar (hybrid racing vehicles), BB, EB, brake shape, speed & or RPM for some cars, lap time delta, last lap time & when crossing the timing line, & the one for the lap just completed, etc. Besides, F1 doesn’t do so for the now-regularly used helmet cams in world feed coverage & Gasly is among the Bell drivers who’ve often worn a helmet interior cam this season.
    More or less impossible on live footage, to be fair, but still.
    At least, no buttons & switches this time, like in the Imola Shakedown run before last season’s pre-season testing, which was even more redundant, as the button & switch positions have been unchanged & known since 2019.
    As a fact, I know F1 (or, again, racing generally) displays don’t contain anything special while driving from all my observations since 2014 when the LCD displays first appeared, as they regularly & mostly only feature the info & figures mentioned above.
    These are mostly viewable during sessions (especially floodlit ones) anyway, so nothing other teams have ever seen before & this onboard isn’t even from a race weekend but a pre-testing filming day from more than five months ago, so not even anything recent.
    Therefore, even if steering wheel displays contained helpful info for other teams, they couldn’t use something from a few months ago for their present & future sporting success anymore anyway. Let alone something from non-competitive running.
    The helmet cam views from world feed coverage are wholly enjoyable simply because they don’t feature any unnecessary/unjustified (& partly even useless for the intended purpose) blurring like some pre-recorded stuff.
    I’m just generally unconvinced & have been for some time about a racing car display being something that necessitates artificial covering in any case.

    110 kg is actually the maximum allowed race capacity & has been since 2019, with 100 in 2014-16 & 105 in 2017-18.

    Very well-put COTD. Valid points throughout & the last paragraph especially is good.

    1. Indeed if they blur it then it’s just a onboard camera and doesn’t give a good emersion. Well put @jerejj (maybe a tad to long but well written)

      1. Admittedly, a tad too long in the end, but at least nothing I definitely wanted to point out didn’t get left out even by accident. @macleod

        1. ‘got’ left out

          1. Disregard my misread. What inattention to detail by me.

    2. For goodness sake. Why are you watching the screen on the steering wheel?
      The point of those cameras is to see (roughly) what the driver sees – not to know what they know.

      If you really want to know everything that’s on the display all the time, maybe try becoming a racing driver.

      1. @S Why not? Looking at steering wheel displays is something I’ve been doing since 2012-13 with all onboard footage.
        I like to see what gear gets used at any given moment, what on-the-fly changes happen for BB, EB, etc., on a given lap, whether a driver is ahead or behind his PB lap time & so on.
        Becoming a racing driver is unnecessary when one can simply view info on display during sessions anyway, especially under artificial lighting in the Middle East, Singapore, & LV from next season, including Monaco’s tunnel.

  4. I thought the roll hoop was still intact but the point were it was mounted failed. I wonder how they are going to improve that.

    1. By changing the rules, @macleod.
      That’s how problems are solved in F1 now, even only one team has an issue.

      Or especially if only one team has an issue….

    2. @macleod they’ve effectively banned the blade-type roll hoop that a couple of teams, like Alfa, use.

      It’s the lateral force on Zhou’s roll hoop that caused the mount failure and that wasn’t tested for previously. A new test will be introduced to cover that eventuality.

      By having a rounder-profile roll hoop that’s less likely to dig into the track/grass/gravel, less lateral force will be put on the roll hoop.

  5. Thanks for the CotD! Been a while :-)

  6. On this day in motorsport history (this is a good one):

    Have fun

  7. Leclerc has no room for improvement, he just has to stop trying to make for the half a minute his team loses for him and just let ferrari burn.

  8. As horrible as Zhou’s accident was, I was much more worried about the spectators behind that short fence than him.

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