Formula 1 2023: Rules changed after Zhou horror crash?

“Halo saved my life,” Guanyu Zhou introduced on Twitter on July 3, 2022, after his horrific crash at Silverstone. In the opening phases, the Alfa Romeo driver collided with the Mercedes of George Russell, which brought about the Chinese to overturn. With nearly no braking, Zhou’s automobile skidded off the gravel pavement and flipped over onto the tarmac earlier than crashing right into a guard rail. Miraculously, neither drivers, spectators, nor marshals had been injured.

But the true significance of the state of affairs grew to become recognized to the world of Formula 1 solely after the accident. Although the secondary crash construction, referred to as the halo, survived the stresses, the first crash construction (with the curler) crumbled to mud. Photos of the automobile later confirmed that there have been just a few centimeters between Zhou’s head and the asphalt.

Zhou’s head was just a few centimeters away from the asphalt. Photo: LAT Images

Alfa Romeo: Technical director requires rule change

“We have been working with the FIA ​​because the day of the accident to reconstruct the accident and assess it as a lot as attainable,” mentioned Jan Monchaux, Alfa-Sauber’s technical director. “This will not be a simple process for the forces concerned.”

Unlike another groups, Alfa Romeo didn’t share the G-forces affecting their new drivers throughout affect. “Also, the FIA ​​has requested all different groups for suggestions on varied comparable instances of curler downforce in an effort to discover room for enchancment,” the Franco-German mentioned.

Even earlier than the FIA’s evaluation was full, one factor was clear to Monchaux: new security requirements had been wanted within the premier class. “Without going into an excessive amount of element, the forces that match the principles – you’ve gotten a sure vectoring, you need to apply power to the entrance and rear of the wheel – should not essentially applicable for accidents like this the place the automobile skids. The forces are considerably flat there, it is not likely a vertical impact. There could also be adjustments sooner or later,” the Alfa Romeo man defined.

The roller must withstand a weight of more than 10 tons., Photo: LAT Images
The curler should stand up to a weight of greater than 10 tons., Photo: LAT Images

FIA: The roundabout should cross this check

The FIA ​​has already introduced that it intends to sharpen the curler in early 2023. But what masses does the present technology of rollers have to resist in an effort to get the FIA’s blessing? The reply to this query will be present in Article 13.3 of the technical laws of Formula 1. In the variations, the winding strip, referred to as “Main winding construction”, should cross a sequence of static resistance checks.

When the roll bar is bolted to the survival cell, the construction should stand up to a lateral power of 60 kilonewtons, 70 kilonewtons longitudinally, and 105 kilonewtons vertically for ten seconds. 105 kilonewtons corresponds to about 10.7 tons! The construction shouldn’t be deformed greater than 25 millimeters. In addition, there ought to be no structural injury beneath 100 millimeters from the roof.

In addition, groups should present detailed calculations to show that the roll bar can stand up to the identical longitudinal masses because it strikes ahead.

But because the Zhou catastrophe exhibits, even these extraordinary stress checks should not sufficient. “We’ll get a brand new, extra facet stress check or one thing like that that we’ll must undergo in 2023,” McLaren man James Key suspects. Time is of the essence, and groups need readability forward of the summer season shutdown this week.

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