Zhou has been passed fit to race at this weekend’s F1 Austrian Grand Prix after flipping his Alfa Romeo upside-down at Silverstone and thanking the Halo for saving his life.
Hamilton reflected: “Firstly, I think the FIA have done an incredible job over these decades to improve safety. I also want to acknowledge the late great [Charlie Whiting, former FIA race director], who was really fundamental to getting us this Halo.
“It saved my life last year and it has saved several drivers’ lives, we’ve recently seen.
“Whilst we weren’t always supportive of it initially because of how it looked. I remember him telling us it was a 17% improvement in safety and we couldn’t ignore that.
“So I’m grateful we have that today but I think it just highlights we just have to keep working towards improvements. There are still areas for improvement.
“Jeez, the car getting stuck behind the barrier and the driver getting stuck in the car, we’ve got to make sure that doesn’t happen again.
“But sometimes these experiences are what open up our eyes to how much more we can improve and we will continue to do that.
“It’s amazing to see today how safe these cars are that you can get out and walk away, and I’m glad the drivers are safe.
“But It’s also a reminder to the people watching that this is a dangerous sport. We take real risks out there at crazy speeds.
“Often people tune in and even people there that have known the sport for ages, sometimes take it for granted.
“We’re not just cruising around on a safety bumper kart. We’re exposed in a couple of areas and we’ve not got to take that for granted.”
Russell: 'You will always have big accidents'
Hamilton’s Mercedes teammate Russell added: “It is an element of motorsport - you will always have big accidents.
“Every incident offers an opportunity to learn from.
“It is a constant evolution. As a sport we have come so far. But it will never stop.
“Fast forward 30 years, we will still be talking about the same thing.
“That’s racing, and what happens when you go at speed.”
Russell have received plaudits for jumping out of his Mercedes, which was involved in Zhou’s crash, and running to the aid of his fellow driver.
“For me it was horrifying to see him trapped in there, literally not being able to get out of the car,” Russell reflected. “He was obviously fine and I could see he was moving.
"You are in there pretty tight and when you have a tyre wall on top of you and your head blocking your exit upside down, it’s a horrible position to be in.
“I think from every disaster there are opportunities to improve. Clearly things could be positioned better to give him that exit. There was a gap between the barriers and fence, and he was trapped, that needs to be resolved.”
Russell called it “a natural reaction” to run towards Zhou.
He remembered being on the other side of a similar incident: “I actually rolled my kart in a race in 2008. I was trapped under the car and was burning my arm because the exhaust was stuck on top of me.
“Another driver stopped to lift the car off me.”
Alex Albon, who was also hospitalised in Zhou’s crash but emerged without major injuries, said about safety in F1: “It is an ongoing battle. We will always fight it.
“We trust the FIA and everyone who contributes to our safety.
“These things will always happen. Sometimes it doesn’t look pretty. It’s in everyone’s interest to improve. Everyone is doing their part.”