Vasseur ‘surprised and shocked’ at Zhou’s quick recovery from big Silverstone crash
Alfa Romeo boss Fred Vasseur said he was positively “surprised and shocked” at how Zhou Guanyu has responded to his high-speed crash at Silverstone, with the Chinese driver able to quickly shift his focus to getting back in the car for this weekend’s race in Austria.
Zhou was flipped after Pierre Gasly and George Russell collided on Lap 1 at Silverstone, with the Alfa Romeo skidding across the asphalt upside down before being lifted into the air and between the barriers in the Turn 1 run-off.
Speaking on Thursday in Austria, Zhou admitted he didn’t know where he was during the incident, but after being taken to the medical centre and passed fit, he was straight back in the paddock with the team to discuss the damage and Austrian GP preparations.
“It was a strange feeling, but mainly just after the crash because he came back, he looked very okay, was focused on the future, on the updates for Spielberg, that we have enough parts and so on,” said Vasseur on Friday in the TV pen in Austria.
“I was a bit surprised and shocked [at how he was able to switch his focus so quickly to Austria after such a big accident]; I was probably more shocked than he was. But for sure we know also it will take time for him to realise and with the questions, he will think about it. But he’s very focused on the track and the sporting side.”
Zhou had been on a strong run of form heading to Silverstone and was starting inside the top 10 for the second successive race, having outqualified team mate Valtteri Bottas for the third Grand Prix in a row.
Vasseur is happy with the rookie’s efforts this year, and while the final results haven’t always been there, the Alfa Romeo boss knows poor reliability has played a big part and cost the 23-year-old a lot of points.
“The first target was to do some Q2,” said Vasseur. “He was in Q2 race one, scored points race one. At mid-season, he was able to do Q3 two times in a row, even outqualifying Valtteri.”