F1 drivers have praised the halo following Zhou Guanyu’s crash at Silverstone over the weekend.
Formula One returned to England over the weekend as Silverstone hosted a stunning competition that saw Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz claim his maiden F1 win.
A late safety car caused by the retirement of Esstaban Ocon allowed the Spaniard to face teammate Charles Leclerc at the restart on fresh tires and claim his first win in his 150th Grand Prix start.
Sainz finished ahead of Red Bull’s Sergio Perez and Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton, with the Brit earning the applause of his home crowd as he took his second consecutive podium and 13th place at Silverstone – an all-time record at a single venue.
Meanwhile, Leclerc will be disappointed after finishing P4 – despite leading much of the race – while Championship leader Max Verstappen was only able to finish P7 after suffering damage to his car.
Mick Schumacher scored his first F1 points in P8 while Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel and Haas’ Kevin Magnussen completed the top 10.
Despite an exciting day of racing, Sainz’s victory was largely overshadowed by the drama that unfolded early in the race and led to Zhou Guanyu seeking medical treatment.
What happened to Zhou Guanyu?
Verstappen and Hamilton had both mastered their starts early in the race, but red flags were soon raised following an incident at Turn 1.
Zhou Guanyu’s Alfa Romeo and George Russell’s Mercedes collided as they rounded the first corner, causing them to go off the track and Zhou turning his career around before smashing into the guardrail at high speed.
The Brit immediately missed his chance to start the race as he ran to his passenger to help while paramedics tried to extricate the 23-year-old from his car.
Zhou was eventually removed for safety reasons and taken to the medical center for an examination, where he has since been released after being declared fit.
What did Zhou Guanyu say?
After being released from the medical center, the Chinese driver posted a message on his Twitter account that read: “I’m fine, all right. Halo saved me today. Thank you everyone for your kind messages!”
Zhou’s responses were brimming with support, with many praising the importance of the halo in preventing further driver injury.
What have others said about the Halo device?
After his victory at Silverstone, Sainz spoke about Zhou’s accident and expressed his relief at his condition.
“The fact that he got out of there is crazy,” he said. “I think it’s incredible that you’re getting out of there. It just goes to show that sometimes we criticize the FIA, but you have to show them how much they have helped us.
After the race, Russell also tweeted about the incident.
He wrote: “It was awful, in that position he was stuck there, nothing he could have done.
“We have to think to avoid a car getting stuck in such a subtle gap – the gap between the barriers and the metal fence and it just got stuck there with nowhere to go. Something to learn.”
What is the Halo device?
The halo was introduced to F1 in the 2018 season and has had enormous significance ever since, highlighted on two occasions at Silverstone yesterday.
The Halo is a carbon fiber covered titanium structure that sits over the cockpit of an F1 car – created to withstand massive impacts.
After the death of IndyCar driver Justin Wilson in 2015, there was an increased demand for better cockpit protection in open wheel racing, leading to the introduction of the Halo device.
After initially being rolled out on F1 cars, it has now become standard across all formulas.