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Zhou escapes serious injury after massive Silverstone F1 Turn 1 crash

Alfa Romeo’s Zhou Guanyu has escaped serious injury following a terrifying Turn 1 incident that forced the Formula 1 British Grand Prix to be red-flagged.

crash at start of race

crash at start of race

Glenn Dunbar / Motorsport Images

The Chinese driver, who had started ninth, was tipped over on the run down to the opening Abbey turn as drivers accelerated away from the start.

His car then skipped upside down through the gravel trap before rolling over the crash barriers and ending up on its side, having been stopped only by the catch fencing.

The race was immediately red flagged and marshals and medical crews were quickly on the scene. Zhou was extracted from the car and taken to the track’s medical centre.

The crash was triggered by Pierre Gasly, starting behind Zhou, getting sandwiched between the Alfa Romeo on his left and the Mercedes of George Russell on the right on the run down to Turn 1.

Gasly tagged Russell’s left rear tyre when the Mercedes turned in, and that spun the Briton into Zhou on the left, who then rolled over

Russell later stopped at the first corner with his left rear tyre having been detached from the wheel. Having seen Zhou's car fired over the barriers, he ran to check on the Chinese racer.

Further back, there was a separate incident as the Williams of Alex Albon was pitched right in to the pit wall after being hit from behind by the Aston Martin of Sebastian Vettel.

Albon’s damaged car was then struck by other cars as it spun to the outside, with Yuki Tsunoda and Esteban Ocon being caught up in the melee.

A rear view of the crash at the first start. Zhou Guanyu, Alfa Romeo C42, George Russell, Mercedes W13, Esteban Ocon, Alpine A522, Yuki Tsunoda, AlphaTauri AT03 and Alex Albon, Williams FW44 are involved

A rear view of the crash at the first start. Zhou Guanyu, Alfa Romeo C42, George Russell, Mercedes W13, Esteban Ocon, Alpine A522, Yuki Tsunoda, AlphaTauri AT03 and Alex Albon, Williams FW44 are involved

Photo by: Glenn Dunbar / Motorsport Images

A statement from the FIA confirmed that both Zhou and Albon were conscious after the incidents and being checked over by medical staff.

“The FIA advises that following the incident at the start of the race, emergency crews were immediately in attendance, and the drivers of Car 23 (Albon) and Car 24 (Zhou) have been taken to the medical centre," the statement read.

“Both drivers were conscious and will be evaluated at the medical centre. Further updates will be given in due course."

The Alfa Romeo team later told Zhou's team-mate Valtteri Bottas: "Zhou is conscious, he is talking, there are no fractures. Considering the circumstances, he is pretty good, pretty well."

Having been kept under observation at the medical centre, Zhou has now been declared fit and released.

Further around the lap, track officials and the police had to deal with protestors who invaded the track on the opening lap after the red flag had been put out.

A statement from F1 said: “We can confirm that after the red flag, several people attempted to enter the track.

“These people were immediately removed and the matter is now being dealt with by the local authorities.”

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