The Formula 3 Macau Grand Prix underwent a lengthy delay on Sunday night after a high-speed crash saw Sophia Florsch’s car fly over the barrier in a terrifying incident.
The German has been transferred to hospital as the race was stopped after she was launched into the air and over the crash barriers following a shunt at Lisboa Bend.
The collision with Sho Tsuboi’s TOM car, which was during the opening lap of the race, caused her to lose her wheels with the car going through the debris fencing and striking a photographers’ bunker and landing back on its wheels.
A crash in the Formula 3 Macau Grand Prix has to be seen to be believed. Early reports suggest everyone involved survived. pic.twitter.com/jc4TXOdNn0
That is no doubt one of the worst racing shunts I have ever seen at such unabated speeds too!! Thankfully Sophia Floersch was conscious after that almighty crash at Lisboa corner. Shocking to watch! Shows how dangerous Motor Racing is. #MacauGrandPrix#F3https://t.co/zKAduDALS0
Horrible crash for Sophia Floersch in the F3 at Macau. Her car has flown thru the catch fencing at speed, where there’s a Marshall post, and into a photographers tower. There have been injuries. Please don’t search or share the video footage, this still explains all you need. pic.twitter.com/a26Ol1C3qa
German teenage driver Sophia Floersch has fractured her spine in a high-speed crash during a Formula 3 race in Macau but said from hospital she was “fine”.
The 17-year-old driver lost control of her Van Amersfoort car at a speed of just under 280km/h on Sunday.
Her car hit fellow driver Sho Tsuboi before being catapulted through the air and through fencing.
Floersch was conscious and transported to hospital, later tweeting that she would undergo surgery on Monday.
“Just wanted to let everybody know that I am fine but will be going into surgery tomorrow morning,” she said.
Just wanted to let everybody know that I am fine but will be going into Surgery tomorow morning. Thanks to the @fia and @hwaag_official@MercedesAMGF1 who are taking great care of me. Thanks to everybody for the Supporting messages. Update soon.
Officials said she had suffered a spinal fracture.
Chinese Ferrari junior Guan Yu Zhou, was behind Florsch at the time of the accident and blamed the yellow caution lights flashing on the straight.
“First of all it was such a scary moment,” Zhou said.
“Sophia was really close to Jehan, so when Jehan braked early she had no time to react.
“She hit Jehan’s right-rear, and that spun her around straight into Lisboa, and she flew into the other car. I just hope she’s OK.”
Her father had earlier told DPA she was able to move all of her body.
Four other people were taken to hospital, including Japanese driver Tsuboi, two photographers and a track marshal. All were conscious and treated for various back, head and facial injuries, reports said.
Floersch, who will be 18 on December 1, is competing in her first season in the junior F3 series. She was lying in 15th place when the accident happened on lap four of the street circuit.
The race continued after a break of around one hour and was won by 19-year-old British driver Daniel Ticktum.
Germany’s Mick Schumacher, the son of Formula One great Michael Schumacher, was one of several motorsport stars to send messages of support to the teenage star.
An Sophia und die anderen Unfallbeteiligten – wir denken an euch und hoffen weiterhin das Beste. Our thought are with @SophiaFloersch and the others injured, we hope for the best. #StayStrongSophia
Just to be clear I love Macau Grand Prix and everyone entering that race must be aware of the risks. Motorsport is dangerous and it will never be 100% safe. We all should be thankful to the incredible work @fia does in safety and this crash just shows how safe these cars are.
After waking up to hear @SophiaFloersch was in a horrific crash in Macau. This is incredible news. You’re a strong on Sophia! I saw it first hand at our fitness camps! Hope you have a success surgery and a healthy recovery.🤞 https://t.co/lj4FKDfytU
Sophia Floersch, 17, will undergo surgery after the spectacular airborne crash in the Formula 3 Macau Grand Prix on Sunday.
Video footage showed Floersch appearing to clip Japanese driver Sho Tsuboi’s car while flying off the track at high speed on a tight right-hand bend on lap four. Floersch’s car then went through a catch fence, hit a structure on the perimeter and dropped to the ground with safety officials immediately on the scene. The incident prompted an immediate red flag and a delay of more than an hour before the race was restarted.
Terrifying F3 crash in Macau
Fellow driver Guan Yu Zhou was driving behind Floersch and said yellow warning lights were visible on the straight before the crash which he claims was a “mistake” that may have caused Floersch to brake early.
“It was such a scary moment,” Zhou told Autosport.com.
“Coming after (the preceding right-hand bend), I saw the yellow, but I think it was just a mistake by the organisers’ station.
“Sophia was really close to Jehan, so when Jehan braked early, she had no time to react.
“She hit Jehan’s right-rear and that spun her around straight into Lisboa, and she flew into the other car.
“I just hope she’s OK.”
Floersch later tweeted she was on the road to recovery.
“Just wanted to let everybody know that I am fine but will be going into Surgery tomorrow (Monday) morning … Update soon.”
Floersch has a spinal fracture, according to a medical report released by her team, the Netherlands-based Van Amersfoort Racing.
Fractured spine after crash
“The whole world saw what happened and we can only thank God that (at)SophiaFloersch escaped with relatively light injuries,” Van Amersfoort Racing tweeted. “Our thoughts go also to the other people involved and we wish them a speedy recovery.”
In a statement posted on social media, motorsport’s governing body FIA said “the driver (Floersch) is conscious and has subsequently been taken to hospital for further evaluation.” It added that Tsuboi and “two members of the media and one marshal were also transferred to a local hospital in a conscious state for further evaluation.” Media reports said Tsuboi has lumbar pain.
History was made in the final Moto3 race of the year as 15-year-old Can Oncu triumphed in Valencia.
The Turkish teenager ran away with the race in the end, winning by a margin of more than four seconds after race leader Tony Arbolino crashed out.
The previous record was held by British rider Scott Redding, who was 15 years and 170 days old when he won his first Moto3 race in 2008 in the UK but Oncu, at 15 years and 119 days, has now broken that record in the wet at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo.
Valencia rain causes carnage
There was a heart-in-mouth moment for Oncu on the final lap as he nearly came off his bike as nerves began to play its part.
However, he managed to recover to win his first ever race on what was his debut.
Oncu had already broken the record for the youngest-ever rider in Moto3 but his victory ensured a weekend of celebrations in Spain for Red Bull.
“Incredible feeling!” he said after the race. “I don’t know what’s going on. I’m really, really happy. I’m in the best team, thank you everybody.”