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.
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.
“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.