Sainz: Halo ‘saved two lives’ on Sunday

Michelle Foster
Alex Albon and Zhou Guanyu crashes on the opening lap. Silverstone July 2022

Alex Albon and Zhou Guanyu crashes on the opening lap of the British Grand Prix. Silverstone July 2022

Carlos Sainz says it is a testament to F1’s ever-improving safety that Zhou Guanyu and Roy Nissany both walked away from horror crashes at Silverstone.

Competing in the morning’s Formula 2 feature race, Nissany clipped Dennis Hauger’s car, sending him flying off the circuit and over a sausage kerb.

Airborne, the Norwegian driver landed on top of Nissany, the Halo protecting the DAMS racer.

“That’s a life saved unequivocally,” was the verdict from the commentators.

Hours later, the Halo was again being praised, this time when Zhou was flipped on the opening lap of the Formula 1 race.

Sliding across the tarmac and through the gravel with his car upside down as sparks flew, the car dug into the gravel and flipped over the tyre barrier where it was caught in the catch fencing at Abbey.

Zhou was treated by the medical team before being taken by ambulance to Silverstone‘s medical centre, where he was kept under observation.

Miraculously, he escaped unhurt.

Sainz says that is thanks to the FIA and their constant drive to improve safety, which saw the Halo introduced to the sport in 2018.

The British Grand Prix race winner, who deliberately avoided seeing TV replays of the crash until after the race, says the FIA deserves praise for saving not one but “two lives” on Sunday.

“First of all, I took the decision not to see the accident,” said the Ferrari driver. “When the red flag happened I knew there must have been a big shunt for the red flag. But I didn’t watch the TV.

“Obviously, I was incredibly happy to see Zhou coming out of the car without major issues. And then when I saw it now on the podium, I was completely shocked.

“It was incredible the crash and the fact he came out of it, I don’t know, it’s crazy. I just find it incredible that you can come out of it. And it just shows the great…

“You know, we sometimes criticise the FIA, but in these cases you need to give it to them how much they have been helping us.

“And if you see the crash this morning in F2, what happened with the Halo today, they have saved probably two lives and we need to give it to them, the amazing work they are doing in safety.

“I feel so happy to be racing in Formula 1 in an era when we are pushing each other at higher than 300kph like you saw today, racing. You guys cannot imagine the speeds we are doing in the high speed and taking directions, fighting for position, and knowing you can do that safely or within a safety window.

“And I thank them for this because I just feel it’s great to do it. And I love this sport for that.”


Highlights from the British Grand Prix

Put simply, it was a quite remarkable British Grand Prix on Sunday.