George Russell said he had been “very lucky” to escape serious injury on Sunday thanks to his Williams car’s cockpit “halo” when he was hit by a bouncing wheel from Antonio Giovinazzi’s Alfa Romeo during the Belgian Grand Prix.
The Briton was behind the Italian as they came out of Les Fagnes corner where Giovinazzi lost control of his car and spun into the barriers.
His car suffered extensive damage and a rear wheel flew across the track ahead of Russell.
“I was in the wrong place at the wrong time and there was nothing we could do,” said Russell.
“If I went to the right, that’s where Antonio’s car was – but at the left side of the track, I had a massive impact with the tyre.
“I have to say you feel much safer in the car now with the halo. When I saw this massive tyre coming towards me, it was quite scary, to be honest.
“So I’m very thankful that we have this halo on the car right now. I’m all fine… just a little bit frustrated, obviously, but that’s racing sometimes.”
Giovinazzi said a snap of over-steer on the exit of the left-hand corner pitched him out of control.
“I had a snap of over-steer on the exit and there was nothing I could do,” he said.
“I’m just sorry for my team after what happened, but I have to reset my mind right now for Italy.
“I feel really sorry for George as I destroyed his race as well. It’s really unfortunate what happened to him. I’m just sorry.”