SILVERSTONE, England (WFRV) – Going 200 miles per hour in a vehicle is already dangerous as is, but what about going that speed upside down.

Well, that is exactly what Formula 1 rookie Guanyu Zhou did at the British Grand Prix in Silverstone over the weekend on Sunday morning.

After the start of the race, AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly knocked into George Russell’s Mercedes, which then smacked into Zhou’s back wheel. The Alfa Romeo went airborne and flipped upside-down, zooming across the gravel trap and into the barriers.

Zhou escaped the horrific accident with only minor injuries thanks to advancements in safety, but 20 years ago, we might’ve been talking about another fatality in the sport.

  • Alfa Romeo driver Guanyu Zhou of China crashes at the start of the British Formula One Grand Prix at the Silverstone circuit, in Silverstone, England, Sunday, July 3, 2022. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
  • Alfa Romeo driver Guanyu Zhou of China crashes at the start of the British Formula One Grand Prix at the Silverstone circuit, in Silverstone, England, Sunday, July 3, 2022. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
  • Track workers remove the car of Alfa Romeo driver Guanyu Zhou of China after a crash at the start of the British Formula One Grand Prix at the Silverstone circuit, in Silverstone, England, Sunday, July 3, 2022. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
  • Alfa Romeo driver Guanyu Zhou of China crashes at the start of the British Formula One Grand Prix at the Silverstone circuit, in Silverstone, England, Sunday, July 3, 2022. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
  • Alfa Romeo driver Guanyu Zhou of China, centre, receives medical treatment after he was involved in a crash at the start of the British Formula One Grand Prix at the Silverstone circuit, in Silverstone, England, Sunday, July 3, 2022. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
  • Alfa Romeo driver Guanyu Zhou of China crashes at the start of the British Formula One Grand Prix at the Silverstone circuit, in Silverstone, England, Sunday, July 3, 2022. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

With the invention of the halo that was protecting Zhou’s helmet, the rookie was safe from any damage the surface would have caused.

The halo is shaped like a wishbone and is made of titanium. The bar sits on top of the cockpit and wraps around the driver’s head. It was designed to sustain massive amounts of weight for any extreme accident and in the case of Zhou’s, it saved his life.

Mclaren driver Lando Norris of Britain sits into his car during the second free practice at the Silverstone circuit, in Silverstone, England, Friday, July 1, 2022. The British F1 Grand Prix is held on Sunday July 3, 2022. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
Mclaren driver Lando Norris of Britain sits into his car during the second free practice at the Silverstone circuit, in Silverstone, England, Friday, July 1, 2022. Norris is holding onto the “halo” safety system of the vehicle. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

While initially met with negative reviews from the fans due to the way the halo looked aesthetically, the safety device has been crucial in many crashes.

The 2018 Belgian Grand Prix saw Fernando Alonso’s McLaren flying over Charles Leclerc’s head. Had the halo not been there, Alonso’s vehicle could have fatally injured Leclerc.

  • The car of Mclaren driver Fernando Alonso of Spain, center top, is involved in a crash along with Sauber driver Charles Leclerc of Monaco. center bottom, during the Belgian Formula One Grand Prix in Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, Sunday, Aug. 26, 2018. (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert)
  • The car of Mclaren driver Fernando Alonso of Spain, center, is involved in a crash during the Belgian Formula One Grand Prix in Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, Sunday, Aug. 26, 2018. (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert)
  • Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain crashes with Red Bull driver Max Verstappen of the Netherlands during the Italian Formula One Grand Prix, at Monza racetrack, in Monza, Italy, Sunday, Sept.12, 2021. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
  • Red Bull driver Max Verstappen of the Netherlands, right and Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain crash during the Italian Formula One Grand Prix, at Monza racetrack, in Monza, Italy, Sunday, Sept.12, 2021. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
  • FILE - Staff extinguish flames from Haas driver Romain Grosjean's car after a crash during the Formula One race in Bahrain International Circuit in Sakhir, Bahrain, in this Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020, file photo. Mercedes announced Wednesday, May 5, 2021, that Grosjean will drive Lewis Hamilton’s 2019 championship-winning car at the French Grand Prix on June 27 before a full test day at Circuit Paul Ricard two days later. (Brynn Lennon/Pool via AP, File)
  • Haas driver Romain Grosjean of France has his car taken after a crash during the Formula One race in Bahrain International Circuit in Sakhir, Bahrain, Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020. (Hamad Mohammed, Pool via AP)
  • Staff extinguish flames from Haas driver Romain Grosjean of France's car after a crash during the Formula One race in Bahrain International Circuit in Sakhir, Bahrain, Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020. (Brynn Lennon, Pool via AP)
  • FILE - Haas driver Romain Grosjean of France arrives to the paddock to thank the marshals in Bahrain International Circuit in Sakhir, Bahrain, in this Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020, file photo. Grosjean escaped with only minor burns when his Haas car exploded into a fireball after crashing on the first lap at the Bahrain GP. Mercedes announced Wednesday, May 5, 2021, that Grosjean will drive Lewis Hamilton’s 2019 championship-winning car at the French Grand Prix on June 27 before a full test day at Circuit Paul Ricard two days later. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili, File)

Romain Grosjean had one of the most famous accidents in recent years when his Haas went crashing into the barrier in Bahrain. Grosjean’s vehicle split in two and erupted in flames. Without the invention of the halo, he would have been decapitated.

Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton’s battle at Monza in 2021 saw Verstappen’s vehicle land right on top of Hamilton’s head. Without the halo protecting Lewis, he would have been crushed by the wheel.

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Formula 1 continues to be one of the world’s most dangerous sports. With vehicles exceeding 200 miles per hour, safety is one of the most crucial things the league has been working on. Although met with negative reviews in the beginning, the halo has been one of the most successful inventions in Formula 1 history.

For more information about Formula 1’s halo invention, click here.