George Russell checks on Zhou Guanyu after British Grand Prix crash
For the second year running, the British Grand Prix was interrupted by another spectacular accident, this time involving young Mercedes gunman George Russell and 2022 Alfa Romeo Formula 1 debutant Zhou Guanyu.
The Silverstone race was red flagged almost immediately after the lights went out due to the disastrous incident at Turn 1. A record crowd of 142,000 saw the original driver’s C42 Chinese overturned before dragging herself on the gravel, in heavy contact with the tire wall and hitting the catch fence that separates the spectators from the action.
On replay, it was determined that Alpha Tauri’s George Russell and Pierre Gasly touched down the main straight, sending the former into Zhou Guanyu. In addition to the mentioned trio, Gasly’s teammate Yuki Tsunoda, Alpine’s Esteban Ocon, Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel and Williams’ Alex Albon would also be affected.
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Thankfully, after an eerie moment of radio silence, Zhou Guanyu was given the medical all-clear – conscious without a fracture thanks in large part to modern F1’s halo – and while everyone kept their tires warm after the crash, George Russell bowed out to check it out immediately; thereby (unknowingly) sacrificing his impressive streak of Top 5 finishes in every race this season.
“Glad to see that Zhou is okay… horrible to see an incident like that,” George Russell told F1TV in his post-race interview.
“I couldn’t get any temperature in the tires on the formation lap and I just got swamped by all the cars and then I know I got hit from behind, Zhou’s side and we saw the rest.”
“I saw the race was a red flag so I knew it was safe to jump and I wanted to go and see if he was okay and if I could have helped in any way. When I’m came back, I couldn’t start the car but there was no reason why I couldn’t because the car was fine.
“I ran to the team to check and when I came back the car was already on the set. In the end there is nothing wrong with the car other than a puncture, so it’s really frustrating as we had the pace to come back, we definitely would have gone back to P6 at a minimum. So many emotions.
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“I’m fine, everything is clear. Halo saved me today,” Zhou Guanyu tweeted after the dust settled.
“Thank you all for your kind messages!”
After years of almost, Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz would eventually claim his first Formula 1 victory, followed by Red Bull’s Sergio Perez and Mercedes’ hometown boy/seven-time world champion Sir Lewis Hamilton. Championship leader and reigning grid king Max Verstappen, meanwhile, would finish bottom in P7 thanks to damage to his RB18 from the end plate of an Alpha Tauri front wing.
This year’s Silverstone race would also mark a great opportunity for Mick Schumacher de Haas, son of the legendary Michael Schumacher, who managed to register his first F1 points in P8.
Relive Zhou Guanyu’s spectacular crash at the 2022 British Grand Prix from three different angles.
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