Formula 3 driver Sophie Flörsch was lucky to survive in a horrific high-speed crash at the Macau Grand Prix. The German, who drives for Van Amersfoort Racing, lost control of her car and went airborne before smashing into a fence and structure that was being used by photographers.
The crash occurred on lap four of the race on the turn into Lisboa when Flörsch hit the back of Carlin Motorsport’s Jehan Daruvala going at 171.6 mph (276.2 kph). The collision forced her vehicle over the inside kerb into another driver, Sho Tsuboi, before being launched up into the air, over the barrier, and into the area behind.
After the incident, both Tsuboi and Flörsch were taken to the hospital as well as a marshal and two photographers who were behind the barrier the vehicle came over. Flörsch, 17, only sustained a minor spinal fracture and has successfully completed an 11-hour surgery to repair one of her vertebrae.
Her team, Van Amersfoort Racing tweeted a response to the crash saying: “Today was a very difficult day for our team at the #MacauGP. The whole world saw what happened and we can only thank God that @SophiaFloersch escaped with relatively light injuries. Our thoughts go also to the other people involved and we wish them a speedy recovery.”
The owner of the team, Frits van Amersfoort, called the crash “one of the worst of my life”. “We got some information from social media while we were waiting at the door of race control, but when you look at those images it is heartbreaking so we were thinking the worst,” Amersfoort said in an interview with BBC Radio 5 Live.
“It took quite a long time before the race control could say anything about the health of Sophia, everyone can imagine that’s not a nice thing to have. We were lucky that she was flying because she went over a barrier. If she had hit the barrier it would have gone a lot worse.”