Sunday’s British Grand Prix saw a hugely scary accident involving Zhou Guanyu and George Russell. The Chinese driver ended upside down as contact with the Mercedes in the first few hundred metres saw him end up between the tyre barriers and catch fencing at turn 1.
"Firstly, I’m glad to see Zhou’s okay," stated Russell to MotorLAT and other media outlets.
"[It was an] incredibly scary incident. Not just for him, but I’m sure for everyone in the crowd as well. Never nice to see."
Russell could only manage P8 on the grid after a wet qualifying session. For that reason, he started on the hard tyres – but the plan backfired.
The 24-year-old was slow off the line and immediately got picked off by Latifi. Guanyu and Gasly looked set to overtake him as well before the incident happened.
"Obviously, we took a gamble starting on the hards because I didn’t do a good enough job yesterday in qualifying and we were starting out of position. We knew it was going to be very tricky," he said.
"But I just got completely swamped by everybody at the start and next thing I know I was in the side of Zhou."
Seeing where Zhou Guanyu’s car ended up was a shock to Russell, who seemed visibly shaken by the experience. He also hopes lessons can be learned from where the Alfa Romeo driver finished after his crash.
"It was horrible," he explained. "I mean, in that position, he was stuck there and there’s nothing he could have done.
"We need to have a think, I guess, to avoid a car being stuck in such a fine gap in the space between the tyre barriers and the metal fence. He was just stuck in there, nowhere to go."
Today was a reminder that F1 remains a high-speed, high-risk sport that is always right on the edge.— Formula 1 (@F1) July 3, 2022
We are so thankful to the advances in safety that mean both Zhou Guanyu and Alex Albon are safe and well. pic.twitter.com/BJ8PPDG2av
TV pictures showed Russell getting out of his W13 to check on the wellbeing of Zhou Guanyu. However, he was not happy that he couldn’t restart.
"[When] I saw it was a red flag I jumped out to see if he was okay. And when I came back – I couldn’t quite get the car started but I just wanted to check with my team – and when I came back the car was already on a flatbed and the FIA said we couldn’t restart. So it’s annoying because the only issue we had was puncture."
"The car was generally fine,” he continued. “A little bit of damage but nothing show-stopping. So many different emotions right now. I was really excited to see how the performance the car would have been."