German teen driver fractures spine in F3 horror crash

2018-11-19 08:00     Comment:1

Sophia Flörsch, a 17-year-old female teenage driver from Germany, suffered a fractured spine when her car flew off the track in a horrifying crash at the Formula Three Macau Grand Prix yesterday afternoon.

“Five individuals were involved in the accident at Lisboa Bend,” an official statement said. 

Flörsch was conscious and stable after the smash when her car became airborne and hurtled into a marshals and photographers’ area at the Lisboa Bend.

Japanese driver Sho Tsuboi, two photographers and a marshal were also taken to hospital.

A statement issued by the Macau Grand Prix Organising Committee shortly after the accident said that the five victims were conscious during their transfer to the hospital for treatment.

Dramatic footage captured gasps from the crowd as Flörsch’s Dallara-Mercedes flew through the air and into safety netting at Lisboa Bend, a sharp right-hander.

The German teenager, running 16th, apparently lost control in a contact down the straight in Avenida da Amizade, launched off a kerb and bounced off Tsuboi’s TOM’s car.

An initial medical report received by the local media said Flörsch was admitted to the emergency ward of the public Conde de Sao Januario Hospital Centre with a spinal fracture and vital signs stable.

Flörsch, born in Munich on December 1, 2000, later reassured her family, friends and fans on Twitter yesterday evening: “Just wanted to let everybody know that I am fine but will be going into surgery [this morning].” 

“Thanks to everybody for the supporting messages. Update soon,” she added. A medical source told The Macau Post Daily last night that Tsuboi had meanwhile been discharged after treatment for lumbago.

According to the source, who asked not to be named, a mainland photographer sustained a liver laceration in the accident, while a Japanese photographer suffered a concussion. The two photo-journalists remained in hospital for observation last night.

The local marshal sustained a facial injury, right jaw fracture and upper abdominal abrasion. He also remained hospitalised for observation last night. 

“I hope everybody’s okay after this crash, I wish them the best recovery,” Mick Schumacher, the son of stricken F1 legend Michael, told reporters. Mick finished in fifth place.

Nineteen-year-old Briton Dan Ticktum of Red Bull Junior Team won the race, which has been graced by F1 greats such as Mick’s father and also his uncle Ralf as well as Ayrton Senna.

Serious and even fatal accidents have occasionally occurred during the annual motor-racing weekend. 

British rider Daniel Hegarty died last year after hitting a barrier at Fishermen’s Bend during the Macau Grand Prix’s feature motorcycle race.

The Macau Grand Prix also suffered two deaths in 2012 when Portugal’s Luis Carreira and Hong Kong’s Phillip Yau were killed within two days of each other.

Several years ago two pedestrians were killed by a racing car that crashed through the Lisboa Bent barrier.

This video grab made from a video circulated online yesterday shows F3 driver Sophia Flörsch flying over the Lisboa Bend during the Macau Grand Prix.

The only female driver in this year’s F3 race German Sophia Flörsch poses in the garage of the paddock at Macau Grand Prix on Thursday. Photo: Lesley Wells


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