Alfa Romeo’s roll ring impact exceeded FIA requirements


The C42’s roll ring was lost early in the Chinese driver’s spectacular crash seconds after the start of the British GP when his car rolled over after contact with George Russell’s Mercedes.

However, he was protected by the Halo, which remained intact as he skidded down the track and into the gravel trap before bouncing off the barriers and coming to a stop.

Speaking to the media for the first time since the accident, Zhou spoke at length about the accident and its aftermath.


“With that first impact, where he landed on the first flip, the team is still looking into it, but I think the first impact was much harder than what they tested for the safety test,” he said.

“This was like a couple of times harder than the actual numbers we want on that. So obviously that probably created the problem that came up right away.”

Zhou Guanyu's Alfa Romeo C42 after his accident

Zhou Guanyu’s Alfa Romeo C42 after his accident

Photo by: Mark Sutton/Motorsport Images

Zhou recalled that he had done his best to avoid any injury to his arm or wrist when the car skidded upside down.

“Obviously when the rollover happened, the first thing I tried to do was try to get my hand off the wheel,” he said.

“Because you never know, you can break your wrist very easily with a crash like that.

“And then the next thing I tried to do, as I was rolling on the ground, I knew I was going to be in for a massive impact, because the car wouldn’t stop. And then I tried to lock myself into a position that’s as safe as possible, just waiting.” that last hit.

“It’s not like I’m just holding the hand back, but keeping it reasonably tense, so it doesn’t fly off when you have the last hit.

“Basically, I was just waiting for the last stop hit. And once I was basically stopped, I didn’t know where I was, because I was upside down.

“The next thing I felt there was basically a leak. I wasn’t sure if it was from my body or from the car. So I tried to turn off the engine, because the engine was still running by then. Because I knew if you start a fire it will be hard to get out.

“I didn’t know what happened, who hit me, because I was going right next to the white line before Turn 1, and all of a sudden there was a massive drift.

The accident involving Zhou Guanyu, Alfa Romeo C42, George Russell, Mercedes W13 at the start of the race

The accident involving Zhou Guanyu, Alfa Romeo C42, George Russell, Mercedes W13 at the start of the race

Photo by: Mark Sutton/Motorsport Images

Zhou was quickly able to signal to a track official that he was fine, before helping the stewards out of the car.

“The [a marshal] he was obviously having a conversation with me. She was making sure that I was conscious and that everything was okay, remembering what happened. So I remembered everything and felt good.

“I had to slide out a little bit. So at least to have my leg, my feet are already a bit out and on top of the seat. And they were able to get me out.

“I didn’t realize I was between the barriers. She was thinking that she was next to the barriers. But actually I was between the barrier and the fence, which I don’t know how I survived.

“But then looking back, I obviously saw that Halo saved me for that.”

Zhou said the most frustrating part of his day was the drive home from Silverstone.

“He hit me in traffic on the M1. I chose the wrong path! I left around 5 in the afternoon, I got home at 9 at night. That was a long, long day.

“You just want to go home to relax a little bit, because I was covered in dust, there was a lot of dust after the impact. So I just wanted to go home, take a shower and just relax.”

Asked if he needed any support to get through the accident, he said: “I already saw the race back on Sunday. I didn’t feel sick watching it, nor did I have that feeling.”

“So I feel like I was able to digest it a little bit myself, so I was happy to have a day off and come back to check my fitness the next day, Tuesday, at home.”

“For me, it was not a concern. Obviously, there are times when you do something and need a little mental help. But this time I don’t feel like it was necessary.”

Bailiffs and doctors help Zhou Guanyu, Alfa Romeo C42

Bailiffs and doctors help Zhou Guanyu, Alfa Romeo C42

Photo by: Mark Sutton/Motorsport Images

Zhou is relieved to have the chance to get back in the cockpit in Austria this weekend, instead of having to wait.

“On Sunday night I sent a text message to all my engineers asking if my seat is okay. For the drivers, obviously the seat is very important, it’s very comfortable, so I don’t want to change anything, because they can always be different. , even though they tried to do the same.

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“But other than that, I’m pretty happy to have a back-to-back race.

“Because obviously, if you have a summer vacation right after that, it would be terrible. Because you’ll be under pressure, you’ll be thinking about it, you’ll repeat the accident again, even if you try to avoid it, somehow you find somewhere. It’s good be back.”