Guanyu Zhou suspected it, it’s now confirmed: the Alfa Romeo driver’s crash at Silverstone was well beyond the FIA limits needed to pass crash tests.
An F1 car is supposed to withstand a shock of 105 kiloNewtons in vertical load, in the event of a crash possibly leading to a rollover. That’s just what happened to Guanyu Zhou at Silverstone.
However, Frédéric Vasseur, the team manager, revealed this morning to Spielberg that the crash was “something like twice as much as the load used in the crash test. »
An absolutely significant gap, which explains why the driver’s roll bar came off; and who should question the FIA…
Frédéric Vasseur also calls on the Federation to learn the lessons of this crash which could have ended in a much more catastrophic way…
“That means we dug a furrow of four or five meters on the tarmac. »
“No matter how good the crash tests are, you can always find something a little bigger and of course we have to take action on our side and with the FIA to improve safety. »
“But in the end, I want to stay positive and say that after a big crash, nothing happened. »
“Fortunately we didn’t have a fuel leak on the car, as that would have been by far the worst-case scenario. Can you imagine what the outcome would have been had there been a leak [et un incendie] ? »
In this case, Guanyu Zhou, wedged between the walls and the fences, would certainly have been vulnerable to the flames…
Vasseur’s mea culpa
The halo certainly saved Guanyu Zhou’s life last Sunday.
Frédéric Vasseur, who was, like others (Romain Grosjean, Nico Hülkenberg, Lewis Hamilton, etc.) opposed to the introduction of this security appendage, must defeat his guilt today.
“Zhou came back to the garage an hour after the accident, when he got out of the medical center, and there was absolutely nothing wrong with him. »
“His first question was about parts stock for Spielberg and for sure a few days later when you think about it, it’s just amazing to have had such a serious accident and come back to the garage focused on the next Grand Prix. »
” It’s incredible. On this point, it is thanks to the FIA, thanks to the safety criteria. »
“I wasn’t the biggest fan of the halo at first, but I was wrong and last week between Zhou and the F2 crash [Roy Nissany]it is thanks to the FIA what happened. »
No impact on the budget?
As team principals discussed the possibility of increasing the teams’ budget cap for 2022 in reaction to global inflation at an F1 commission meeting on Friday, Vasseur said the heavy damage caused by the he accident won’t give Alfa Romeo any worries with its own budget this season.
“I don’t want to go back to yesterday’s discussion. The big difference is that in this case I don’t have to manage the cost cap, I have to manage my own budget because we are still below the cost cap. »
“I will not go to the bank to take out a loan to pay for the parts. That would mean I would have to find savings on development or something else, but we’ll have to deal with that and we can manage. »