Zhou stated that Formula One’s Halo cockpit protection “saved my life”
After two major incidents on the pit straight put Zhou Guanyu’s Alfa Romeo on the wrong side of the tire barriers at Turn 1, the British Grand Prix was called off before the completion of the first lap.
Emergency crews arrived quickly, and Zhou and Williams driver Alex Albon were taken to the hospital.
After precautionary checks, both were cleared of major injuries and released from Coventry Hospital.
A replay showed Pierre Gasly being pinched between George Russell and Zhou, with contact between Gasly and Russell pitching Russell’s Mercedes into Zhou’s Alfa Romeo.
The second impact rolled Zhou’s car, sending it upside down through the run-off area before barrel-rolling over the barriers and coming to a stop in front of a grandstand.
The Halo was introduced in F1 ahead of the 2018 season, but it was met with opposition from many traditionalists due to its departure from the unprotected look of cars.
The device likely saved Charles Leclerc from serious injury during that year’s Belgian Grand Prix and has been credited with saving drivers in several other incidents, including Romain Grosjean’s fireball crash at the 2020 Bahrain Grand Prix.
Albon was involved in a separate incident just moments after Zhou’s crash when he hit the brake pedal for the initial crash and Sebastian Vettel piled into the back of his Williams.
Albon was pushed into the pit wall before bouncing back onto the track and colliding with Yuki Tsunoda and Esteban Ocon.
Tsunoda, Ocon, and Gasly were able to return to the pits, but Zhou, Albon, and Russell were forced to retire from the race.
The race was red-flagged shortly after the collisions as the leaders approached the Wellington Straight, effectively ending the race.
In addition to the crashes, protesters spilled onto the track further around the lap.
The race was restarted at 3:56 p.m. local time.