Scars from Zhou’s monster crash revealed; Aussie rising star takes first win: F1 Pit Talk

Describing Zhou Guanyu as lucky to have walked away from his monster hit at Silverstone underlines the time and effort needed to increase safety in Formula 1.

But then again, when you look at the wreckage and damage done at the crash site, it’s hard not to thank the Chinese driver’s lucky stars that the sport came out of the first lap pile-up with little more than a few bruised drivers.

The forces involved in the crash cannot be underestimated, and as if the images weren’t enough to emphasize so much, new photos have surfaced showing just how much energy the car was carrying as it was turned upside down and upside down. its course for destruction.

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In happier news elsewhere in the paddock, Australia returned to the top step of the podium, albeit in Formula 2 rather than the premier class, with Jack Doohan’s first F2 win. It’s a timely marker of progress in his first campaign in the category and a sign that his sudden change of plans this year is paying off.

And the wider Antipodes are better represented in the F1 periphery this week, with Red Bull Racing announcing a Kiwi as its new reserve driver to replace the ousted Juri Vips for the remainder of the year.


Zhou Guanyu’s terrifying cartwheel crash into the guardrail at the first corner of the British Grand Prix stole the headlines, but it’s only in the wake of the carnage that the forces involved are better appreciated.

Aside from several fan-made videos demonstrating the energy of the crash, Sky Sports reporter Craig Slater has posted a photo of the damage to the track surface itself caused by the impact of Zhou’s car landing upside down and grinding into the gravel.

Whether the damage was caused by the halo or the Alfa Romeo’s roll bar, which appeared to fail in the crash, is unclear.

The team and the FIA ​​will conduct standard investigations into the accident after the incident to determine what worked well and what safety measures need to be strengthened. The car’s roll bar will no doubt be an important area to focus on, although it’s worth noting that the halo has a greater vertical impact than the roll bar, which may be part of the way to explain why someone survived the crash​​ and not the other.

George Russell’s instinctive rush to the scene of the accident has also been cast in a new light by former rival Callum Ilott.

Russell was seen helping the Marshal coordinate the effort as the volunteers tried to free Zhou from the wreckage wedged between the tire wall and the fence.

Illott, who karted with Russell and raced his compatriot for two years in Formula 3, said the Mercedes driver’s impulse to try and help was very much in line with his behavior as he rose through the ranks.

However, Russell’s selflessness cost him a spot at the restart of the race, with marshals retrieving his car while it was parked near the track, at which point the regulations dictated that he be classified as a non-finisher.


The Aussie Jack Doohan has taken the first win of his Formula 2 career after a stormy wet drive at the British Grand Prix.

Doohan started the sprint race in fourth but made short work of Juri Vips, Enzo Fittipaldi and then Jehan Daruvala to take the lead in treacherous wet conditions. The Virtuosi driver was in his element in the rain, aggressively poking and poking his rivals’ defenses until they bent to his liking.

He took an easy lead early in the race, but when the track dried up he was reeled in by DAMS F2 rookie Ayumu Iwasa, whose wet-weather tires were in better condition at the end of the no-stop race. The gap narrowed to less than a second on the final lap, but the Japanese driver ran out of laps to attempt a pass, and Doohan took a memorable first win in the F1 feeder category.

He could only finish ninth in the main race after his contrast speed forced him to start on the hard tire, dropping places off the line, and a slow pit stop costing him a chance at a better finish.

The weekend in all was a strong rebound after a pointless round in Baku and is restoring some of the momentum he has built in Spain and Monaco, including his first podium of the series in Barcelona.


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The quality of his wet handling – typical conditions in which the naturally talented drivers shine – will not have gone unnoticed, highlighting the 19-year-old’s progress through his rookie F2 campaign after finishing second in the F3 championship last year .

It also justifies his move from Red Bull’s development academies to Alpine this year, a move the Aussie said would help him grow more fully as a driver, a fact confirmed in his results.

“This is everything that wanted me to get involved,” he told the… In the Fast Lane podcast earlier this year. “The time in the factory, the support of the race sim but also the car development for 2023 and the fact that I feel much more involved within the team than I have felt in previous years elsewhere.

“I’m creating a really good relationship between the different people in the Formula 1 team and across the academy and just trying to get the best potential I can have to make sure I perform on the track.

“You win and then of course it’s not just a Formula 1 team; you’ll be in everyone’s eyes.”

Doohan sits eighth in the standings but is the highest-placed rookie behind Williams-backed Logan Sargeant. A few more podium finishes this year would cement his status as a rising star with F1 potential.

Photo by Clive Rose/Getty ImagesSource: Getty Images


Red Bull Racing has chosen 20-year-old Kiwi rising star Liam Lawson as its next test and reserve drive after dropping Juri Vips from his junior program in the wake of the Estonian racism controversy.

Lawson is currently campaigning in his second season in Formula 2, having moved from Hitech to Carlin this year, and is currently fifth in the drivers’ standings.

The New Zealander has been part of the illustrious Red Bull Junior Team since 2019 and has a well-established junior career, winning championships in the Toyota Racing Series and New Zealand’s F1600 series, as well as second-place finishes in Australian and German Formula 4 and Formula 3 equivalent Euro Formula Open.

He also raced in the DTM for the first time last season alongside team-mate Alex Albon, delivering a painful three points to a rookie title ahead of veteran touring car driver Maximilian Götz.

Photo by Peter Fox/Getty ImagesSource: Getty Images

Lawson would already make at least one practice appearance with AlphaTauri this season as part of each team’s requirement to devote two hours of practice to rookies. Vips already made his practice debut with Red Bull Racing in Spain.

The promotion by definition makes Lawson the oldest driver of Red Bull’s junior talent, despite being one place and 21 points behind India’s Jehan Daruvala. However, Daruvala’s test with McLaren last week would suggest that his prospects of an F1 promotion at the energy drink giant are limited.

Norwegian Dennis Hauger is also highly regarded internally. He has won the Italian F4 Championship and F3 title as a Red Bull junior since 2018, and after a slow start to his rookie F2 campaign this season, he has taken two wins in the last three rounds.

Lawson is also the top Antipodean racer on the F1 ladder, with compatriot Kiwi Marcus Armstrong in sixth and Australian Jack Doohan and Calan Williams in eighth and 19th.

Vips has kept his contract with Hitech to see this year’s F2 campaign, despite losing his Red Bull support after using racist comments while streaming on Twitch. The Estonian, who has achieved three podium finishes so far this year, is currently seventh in the standings.

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