Alfa Romeo’s Zhou Guanyu has opened up on the horrific crash he suffered during last weekend’s British Grand Prix, saying that he doesn’t know how he survived the accident.
The incident leading up to the crash took place on the opening lap at Silverstone as Pierre Gasly clipped George Russell’s Mercedes. This forced Russell to lose control and slam into the Alfa Romeo driver, forcing his car to flip and slide upside down into the barriers. Guanyu was caught in the space between the barriers and the catch fencing.
He was taken to the medical centre for further assessment and was released after being declared fit.
On Thursday, while speaking to the media, Guanyu opened up about the crash at length, saying that once the flip happened he took his hands off the steering wheel and tried to lock himself in the safest position possible.
“Once the flip happened, the first thing I was trying to do was trying to release my hand off the steering wheel. Because you never know, you can break your hand very easily with a crash like that, and because while I was just rolling on the ground I knew that I’d be facing a massive impact coming up because the car wasn’t stopping.
“And yeah, I tried to lock myself in a position that is the most safest possible, just waiting for the last impact. Just holding the hand backwards, but keep it reasonably tensioned so it doesn’t go flying around when you have that last impact. So that was the case. Once I was basically stopped, I didn’t know where I was, because I was upside down. Basically, there was [some fluid] leaking. I wasn’t sure if it was from my body or is this from the car?
“So I just tried to switch off the engine because the engine was still on by then. I knew if the fire starts, it will be difficult to get out. So I switched my engine off. And everything was fine,” said Guanyu.
The Alfa Romeo driver went on to say that he didn’t realize he was between the barriers until he saw the pictures of the crash. The Chinese driver went on to say that he doesn’t know how he survived the crash.
“I kind of slid myself a little bit out. So, at least to have my leg, my feet already kind of out of the top of the seat. And they were able to pull me out.
“I didn’t realize I was between the barriers. I was thinking 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, obviously, the halo I saw saved me,” said Guanyu.
The Alfa Romeo driver has already asked for a change to be made to the barriers so that no one else will have to face the same situation as him.
“I already spoke to the team during the whole week, with the first impact and where I landed on the first flip.”
“The team said it’s still investigating but the first hit is much harder than what they tested [to pass the] safety tests so it’s like, a few times harder than numbers we run for tests. That’s probably created a problem that came up straight away.”
“I’m more curious for the future, can we change something about the barriers? So you don’t have a driver getting stuck,” said Guanyu.
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