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17-Year-Old F3 Driver Fractures Spine After Car Becomes Airborne In Horror Crash

In Macau

17-Year-Old F3 Driver Fractures Spine After Car Becomes Airborne In Horror Crash Twitter

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.

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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.

She added: "Thanks to everybody for the supporting messages. Update soon."

Officials said she had suffered a spinal fracture. 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.

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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, who took part in the race, tweeted: "Our thought are with (at)SophiaFloersch and the others injured, we hope for the best. (hashtag)StayStrongSophia."

Formula 1 drivers Fernando Alonso and Nico Huelkenberg also posted messages on their Twitter accounts wishing a full recovery to Floersch, who has links with Mercedes AMG F1's young driver program.

McLaren's Alonso wrote: "All my thoughts are with Sophia Florsch after the accident at Macau. Let's hope to receive positive news soon! Keep strong."

Renault driver Huelkenberg said: "Just saw the horrible pictures from Macau... my thoughts are with (at)SophiaFloersch and the other people involved. Stay strong!!"

The accident is being investigates by motorsport federation FIA, a federation official told dpa.

According to Chinese driver Guan Yu Zhou, who was driving behind Floersch, there were yellow warning lamps on the straight just before the accident, which he said seemed to be "an organisational mistake".

"Sophia was very close to Jehan Daruvala and as he braked early she had no time to react," he said.

Floersch's car hit the right rear tyre of Daruvala's car before flying through the air into fencing at the Lisbao turn, he said.

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