17-year-old Formula 3 driver rushed to hospital after horror crash
Sophia Floersch, a 17-year-old Formula 3 star from Germany, was rushed to hospital this weekend after being involved in a brutal crash during the Macau Grand Prix. The teenager lost control of her vehicle on a bend and flew into the air before crashing into a fence and a photographers’ bunker, fracturing her spine in the process.
Thankfully, in a statement from her team, Van Amersfoort Racing, it was later confirmed that Floersch was conscious and in a stable condition.
"Today was a very difficult day for our team at the Macau GP," they wrote on Twitter. "The whole world saw what happened and we can only thank God that Sophia Floersch escaped with relatively light injuries. Our thoughts go also to the other people involved and we wish them a speedy recovery."
The incident happened when Floersch ran into the back of fellow driver Jehan Daruvala's car on the fourth lap, before smashing into the car of Sho Tsuboi. The speed trap leading up to the site of the crash showed that the young driver was travelling at a staggering 171.6 mph (276.2 kph) at the point of impact.
Tsuboi was also injured in the crash, and was taken to hospital due to back pain.
Race organisers have reported that three others - two photographers and a marshal - were also hurt when Floersch's vehicle ploughed into the bunker. Minami Hiroyuki, the first photographer, received medical attention after sustaining concussion; meanwhile the second photographer, Chan Weng Wang, suffered a liver laceration and required urgent care. The marshal, Chan Cha In, was hit in the face during the incident, and suffered a fractured jaw and lacerations as a result.
Floersch was able to post an update about her status yesterday, and reassured her fans that she would be receiving surgery on her spine today (November 19th).
"Just wanted to let everybody know that I am fine but will be going into Surgery tomorrow morning," she said. "Thanks to the
@fia and @hwaag_official @MercedesAMGF1 who are taking great care of me. Thanks to everybody for the Supporting messages. Update soon."
Thousands of people have left messages of support and wishes for a speedy recovery for Floersch, including formula one diver, Jenson Button.
"I've seen some F1 crashes over the years, Senna's included, but this... the impact has got to be 50G at least," said one commenter. "The fact that she even survived that is testament to how far safety in motorsport has come. Hope everyone's OK."
"We need more safety! We need the halo on lower categories! We need to improve circuits safety! Things can never be too safe! We need more action from the regulatory bodies!" added another.
Ultimately, though, people were just glad there were no fatalities.
The race was initially suspended after the crash on Sunday but re-started an hour later. The Grand Prix will continue without Floersch as a competitor.