Zhou’s car skidded across the gravel and flipped over the catch fence, finishing upside down after a collision involving, among others, Mercedes’s George Russell, who left his car immediately and sprinted to Zhou’s car. Zhou, with the car’s protective halo doing its job, eventually was extricated and taken from the course on a stretcher in an ambulance.
Russell, who received mechanical assistance after the crash, was also out of the race.
“First of all, the most important thing is that Zhou is okay,” Russell tweeted. “That was a scary incident and all credit to the marshals and medical team for their quick response. Obviously gutted to end the race this way and I’m sorry for the team and the fans. cheering [teammate Lewis Hamilton] on from the garage.”
Williams’s Alex Albon and Alpha Tauri’s Pierre Gasly were also involved in the crash. Both drivers sought treatment at the medical center, and Albon, whose car struck the wall, was taken to a hospital for further evaluation. Zhou and Russell exited the race. Esteban Ocon and Yuki Tsunoda, who were also caught up in the affair, had repairs and returned to the grid.
Onboard video showed Gasly trying to move into a gap between Zhou and Russell, who moved to the left. Gasly’s right front touched Russell’s left rear, sending the latter’s Mercedes into Zhou’s car.
Zhou is the first Chinese driver to compete in Formula One.
Formula One officials also said that several fans had attempted to invade the track after the crash. “We can confirm that after the red flag, several people attempted to enter the track,” the organization told the BBC. “These people were immediately removed and the matter is now being dealt with by the local authorities.”