Russell calls on F1 to learn from ‘horrible’ Zhou position

Sam Cooper
Zhou Guanyu's car following a crash. Silverstone, July 2022.

George Russell said F1 needed to learn and eliminate small gaps such as the one Zhou Guanyu crashed into at Silverstone.

Russell finished outside of the top five this season after he was DNFed following a first-corner collision with Zhou.

The Mercedes driver was clipped by the AlphaTauri of Pierre Gasly before then crashing into the side of Zhou’s Alfa Romeo.

The crash was a particularly nasty one with Zhou sliding upside down across the tarmac and gravel with only the halo protecting him before flipping over the tyre barrier, hitting a fence and then falling into a narrow gap.

The awkward position of the car meant it took the safety marshals a long time to free Zhou and the race was delayed for almost an hour having been red flagged.

Russell, who stopped his car and ran to see if Zhou needed help, said F1 needed to learn lessons from the crash and eliminate similar fine gaps at circuits.

“Firstly I’m glad to see Zhou’s OK,” Russell said, according to The Race.

“An incredibly scary incident, not just for him but for everyone in the crowd as well, it’s never nice to see.

“It was horrible, in that position he was stuck there, nothing he could have done.

“We need to have a think to avoid a car being stuck in such a fine gap – the space between the barriers and the metal fence and he was just stuck in there, nowhere to go. Something to learn.”

When Russell returned to his car, he found it on the back of a flatbed and was therefore automatically disqualified. The 24-year-old was left disappointed at not being allowed to restart the race having believed he could have restarted the car and made it back to the pits for repairs by himself.

“I jumped out of the car to see if Zhou was okay, I saw it was red flag straight away,” Russell told Sky Sports F1. “When I came back to the car, I couldn’t quite get it started for whatever reason. So I ran back to the team to check, I told the marshals to leave the car. And next thing when I got back, the car was on the back of the flatbed.

“Apparently as soon as you get assistance, you can’t restart so it’s very frustrating because the car just had the puncture. There’s no doubt we had the pace to come back to P6 today.”

 

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