F3 driver Sophia Floersch breaks spine in terrifying crash
German teen's car flies over competitors, crashes into track fence at Macau Grand Prix
German Formula 3 driver Sophia Floersch suffered a broken spine in a horrific, high-speed crash at the Macau Grand Prix on Sunday.
In the video below, the 17-year-old is seen losing control of her Van Amersfoort Racing Dallara-Mercedes car on the fourth lap in the Chinese territory and flying over her competitors before slamming into the track fence.
German driver Sophia Florsch involved in major crash at the Macau Grand Prix, fracturing her spine and injuring 4 other people <a href="https://t.co/Has2zRB7WO">pic.twitter.com/Has2zRB7WO</a>—@BNONews
Initial reports stated Floersch, who was accompanied to hospital by her father Alexander, was conscious and her vital signs were stable.
She later took to Twitter and thanked everyone for their support.
Just wanted to let everybody know that I am fine but will be going into Surgery tomorow morning. Thanks to the <a href="https://twitter.com/fia?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@fia</a> and <a href="https://twitter.com/hwaag_official?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@hwaag_official</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/MercedesAMGF1?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@MercedesAMGF1</a> who are taking great care of me.<br>Thanks to everybody for the Supporting messages.<br>Update soon.—@SophiaFloersch
Japanese driver Sho Tsuboi was also involved in the crash and taken to hospital with pain in his lower back. Also injured were photographers Minami Hiroyuki and Chan Weng Wang, who are said to be dealing with a concussion and lacerated liver, respectively, while race marshal Chan Cha is believed to have cuts and a broken bone in his face.
Floersch reportedly lost control in contact down a straightaway as she sped towards the tight right hand corner, launched off a curb, bounced off Tsuboi's car and sailed like a missile into the safety netting.
Floersch's car then smashed into a photographers bunker and landed on its wheels. The race, delayed for over one hour to repair the barrier and tend to the injured, was eventually won by 19-year-old Dan Ticktum of London.
"We have to thank the angels she had with her today, and for the fantastic strength of the Dallara car," Floersch's team boss Frits van Amersfoort told Motorsport.com.
Before reaching the brake area of the tight corner, Floersch was reportedly travelling 276.2 km/h.
Wickens paralyzed in crash
In October, IndyCar driver Robert Wickens of Guelph, Ont., was paralyzed from the waist down from injuries suffered in an Aug. 19 crash at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pa.
My sincere thoughts go out to <a href="https://twitter.com/SophiaFloersch?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@SophiaFloersch</a> and her family after her horrible crash in Macau. Stay strong Sophia. Fight the fight—@robertwickens
The 29-year-old suffered a thoracic spinal fracture, spinal cord injury, broken neck, tibia (shin bone} and fibula (calf bone) breaks to both legs, fractures in each hand, fractured right forearm, broken elbow, four broken ribs and a pulmonary contusion.
Wickens' car touched that of Ryan Hunter-Reay, sending the latter's vehicle careening into the wall along with Wickens' car, which soared over Hunter-Reay's and spun around after hitting the fence.