‘I’m ok, all clear’: Zhou Guanyu insists his halo ‘saved me today’ after terrifying British GP crash


‘I’m ok, all clear’: Zhou Guanyu insists his halo ‘saved me today’ after emerging unhurt from terrifying crash at the first corner of the British Grand Prix that saw his car flip upside down and slam into the fence

  • Zhou Guanyu credited the halo on his car for saving his life after his horror crash
  • Zhou crashed into the tyre barriers on the roof of his car after a dramatic start
  • He was caught in a collision with Mercedes’ George Russell who also retired 
  • The race was red-flagged immediately before a 53-minute delay to the restart
  • Northamptonshire Police confirmed several arrests as people entered the track 

Chinese driver Zhou Guanyu praised Formula One’s halo for saving his life in a terrifying high-speed crash on the opening lap of the British Grand Prix.

A record 142,000 crowd at Silverstone watched horrified as Zhou’s Alfa Romeo skidded upside down before flipping over the tyre wall and smashing into the outside fence leaving the 23-year-old trapped in his cockpit.

He had to be cut out of his car and taken away on a stretcher but, miraculously, the protective halo bar above his helmet — introduced as a safety measure by F1 in 2018 — meant he was given a clear bill of health after assessment.

Zhou Guanyu reassured his Twitter followers after his terrifying crash early on in the race

A crane was required to remove Zhou's car after it flipped over the protective tyres

A crane was required to remove Zhou’s car after it flipped over the protective tyres

WHAT IS A HALO?

A three-pronged titanium bar that sits atop the cockpit to protect drivers when flipping over, as happened to Zhou Guanyu, or when another car lands on top of them, as was the case with Lewis Hamilton last year, or any other accident. 

It was introduced at the start of the 2018 season and is now used in every FIA series, as well as other racing formats including IndyCar.

He later tweeted: ‘I’m Ok, all clear. Halo saved me today. Thank you for your kind messages.’

The same device also rescued F2 driver Roy Nissany earlier in the day after the Red Bull of Dennis Hauger landed on top of him.

Carlos Sainz, who won his maiden Grand Prix by beating home favourite Lewis Hamilton into third, praised the halo.

‘I was completely shocked,’ said the Spaniard. ‘The crash was incredible and it’s crazy Zhou has come out of it. We sometimes criticise the FIA but you have to give it to them how much they have helped us. Today they have saved two lives.’

George Russell, who clipped Zhou’s tyre in the build-up to the flip, ran over to check on the driver and said the accident was the scariest thing he had seen.

‘He was stuck there in such a fine gap between the tyre barriers and metal fence, there was nothing he could do, nowhere to go. It was horrible,’ said Russell. ‘I am just glad he is OK. I got swamped at the start and the next thing I know I was in the side of Zhou.’

Zhou's car flipped before being caught between the tyre wall and the fence at Silverstone

Zhou’s car flipped before being caught between the tyre wall and the fence at Silverstone 

The race was delayed by 53 minutes after Zhou Guanyu's horror crash from the race start

The race was delayed by 53 minutes after Zhou Guanyu’s horror crash from the race start

Fans watched on in shock as the car flipped

Fans watched on in shock as the car flipped

The crash caused a delay of 53 minutes and seven Stop Oil campaigners were arrested for running on to the track when the drivers were red flagged.

But it triggered one of the most dramatic F1 races of recent years.

Hamilton led for eight laps before he was eclipsed by Sainz, who recorded his first F1 win in 150 attempts. Hamilton’s position changed five times in the final 10 laps before he finished third behind Sergio Perez with Max Verstappen seventh.

‘I loved the racing and dicing with the other drivers. It reminded me of my go-karting days,’ said Hamilton, greeted by Hollywood star Tom Cruise at the finish line.

It was Hamilton’s 13th podium at Silverstone, a record, but also his 11th race without a win — the worst run of his career.

Hamilton courted controversy by defending the group who ran on to the track. ‘I just said big up the protestors. I love that people are fighting for the planet and we need more people like them.’

Perez was delighted with his first victory. ‘It was an epic final few laps,’ he said. ‘I have to admit it’s a relief to get that first win but I will be looking for more now.’

Ferrari's Carlos Sainz won the eventful British Grand Prix for his first victory in Formula One

Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz won the eventful British Grand Prix for his first victory in Formula One

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