September 25, 2022

The C42’s roll cage was lost at the start of the Chinese driver’s spectacular crash seconds after the start of the British GP when his car was overturned after contact with George Russell’s Mercedes.

However, he was protected by the Halo, which remained intact as he skated along the track and into the gravel pit before bouncing over 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 investigating, but I think the first hit was a lot harder than what they’re testing for the safety test,” a- he declared.

“It was like a few times harder than the actual numbers we want in there. So obviously that probably created the problem that became apparent right away.”

Zhou Guanyu’s Alfa Romeo C42 after his accident

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Zhou recalled that he tried his best to avoid any injuries to his arm or wrist as the car slid upside down.

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

“Because you never know, you can very easily break your wrist with such an accident.

“And then the next thing I tried to do, as I was just rolling on the ground, I knew I was going to face a massive impact coming, because the car wouldn’t stop. And then I Tried to lock myself in the safest position possible, just waiting for the final impact.

“It’s not like I’m just holding my hand back, but keeping it reasonably tight, so it doesn’t fly when you have that final impact.

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

“The next thing I felt was that there was a leak. I didn’t know if it was from my body or from the car. So I just tried to turn off the engine, because the engine was still on at the time because I know that if a fire breaks out, it will be difficult to get out of it.

“I didn’t know what had happened, who had hit me, because I was going straight past the white line before Turn 1, and then suddenly there was a huge shunt.

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 able to quickly report to a track official that he was fine, before helping the marshals extricate themselves from the car.

“He [a marshal] was obviously talking to me. He was making sure I was conscious and okay, remembering what had happened. So I remembered everything, and I felt good.

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

“I hadn’t realized that I was between the barriers. I thought I was next to the barriers. But I was actually between the barrier and the fence, which I don’t know how I survived.

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

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

“I was hit in traffic on the M1. I chose the wrong road! I left around 5 p.m., I returned at 9 p.m. It was a long, long day.

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

When asked if he needed help recovering from the crash, he said: “Already on Sunday I watched the return race. I didn’t feel sick watching it, or I had this feeling.

“So I feel like I was able to sort of digest myself a bit, so I was happy to just have the day off, and go straight back to checking my fitness the next day on Tuesday. at home.

“For me, it was not a concern. Of course, there are times when you’re doing something and you need a little mental help. But this time, I don’t think it was necessary.

Marshals and doctors assist Zhou Guanyu, Alfa Romeo C42

Marshals and doctors assist Zhou Guanyu, Alfa Romeo C42

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Zhou is relieved to have a chance to get back to the cockpit in Austria this weekend, rather than having to wait.

“Sunday night I texted all my engineers asking if my seat was ok? be different, even if they tried to do the same.

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

“Because obviously if you have a summer break right after that it would be terrible. Because you will be under pressure, you will think about it, repeat the crash, even if you try to avoid it, you find of a somehow somewhere. It’s good to be right back.