Adam Cooper

Zhou crash triggers tougher F1 hoop tests for 2023

Zhou’s hoop was lost early in the incident after he was involved in a clash with george russell and Pierre Gasly and flipped over, with the hoop taking the initial impact when it lands upside down.

Like his Alfa Romeo slid down the track surface Zhou was shielded by the Halo before the car entered the gravel pit and rolled over the barrier.

Alfa Romeo is the only team in the pit lane to use the option of a “steep” roll bar design, having abandoned it on its 2020-21 cars, but returned to it for the C42 of This year. Historically, teams have often chosen such a design for aerodynamic advantage.

The FIA ​​opened an investigation with Alfa Romeo shortly after the crash, and the issue was discussed at Thursday’s meeting of F1 team technical directors at the FIA’s Technical Advisory Committee, alongside the porpoising issue.

Regarding the meeting, the FIA ​​noted on Friday: “The TAC also discussed the serious incident involving Zhou Guanyu at Silverstone.

“Teams have confirmed their readiness to introduce stricter roll cage measures for 2023, and the FIA ​​has committed to completing the relevant analyses, and communicating to teams new requirements for roll cage safety. security.”

Zhou Guanyu’s Alfa Romeo C42 after his accident

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport pictures

The relevant article of the 2022 technical regulations reads: “The main structure must pass a static load test, details of which can be found in article 13.3.1. In addition, each team must provide detailed calculations, which clearly show that it is capable of supporting the same load when the longitudinal component is applied forwards.

Clause 13.3.1 contains many details on how roll bar tests must be carried out and what loads must be met.

It remains to be seen if one of the results of the investigation could be a ban on spike designs.

Speaking in Austria last weekend, Alpha Tauri technical director Jody Egginton confirmed that the issue needed to be discussed after Zhou’s crash.

“I think it’s really welcome. So we’ll sit down at the next TAC and discuss it, and I’m sure the FIA ​​and Alfa Romeo can give their opinion,” Egginton said when asked for his opinion by about the accident.

“And I’m sure there will be a sensible discussion, and we’ll see where we’re coming from.”

Asked about Alfa’s choice of stud design, Egginton said: “The last time I was on a project that had a hoop like this I think was in 2011. remember the reasons, and they were specific.

“Obviously, we are all subject to and all pass the same test, it is a requirement. But I guess those are the topics that are going to be raised in the TAC, to see how we move forward and what the FIA’s point of view is.

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Red Bull chief engineer Paul Monaghan said all teams could learn from the Silverstone incident.

“I think it would be a bit negligent of us not to look,” Monaghan said. “We have a TAC coming up, so I’m pretty sure the FIA ​​will have investigated, probably with the help of Alfa Romeo themselves.

“And we’re open to being asked questions about that, and we’ll contribute as best we can, for the benefit of the sport. It’s not really a unique interest at this time, is not it?

“I prefer to wait for the FIA ​​to share data from themselves as well as Alfa as to what exactly happened, when we establish a load case. Are there criteria to fairly assess all cars, would all cars resist this or not?

“It’s something that needs to be looked at in depth before you guess it. It would be, I think, a little naive to say that ours is different from everyone else’s.

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