17-year-old F3 driver Sophia Florsch vows to return to racing despite 172MPH crash

I’m going to come back! 17-year-old F3 driver Sophia Florsch vows to return to racing despite 172MPH crash that left her needing 11-hour surgery on spinal fracture

  • Sophia Florsch was involved in a high-speed crash at the Macau Grand Prix
  • Florsch had 11 hours of surgery after a horrific crash in the Macau GP on Sunday 
  • The 17-year-old hit a rival car, was catapulted 12 feet into the air and flew through the safety fence at 172mph and into a temporary stand for race photographers 

Press Association Sport Staff

Sophia Florsch has vowed to return to racing following the horror crash that fractured the teenage Formula 3 driver’s spine.

German Florsch, 17, needed an 11-hour operation following the high-speed crash at the Macau Grand Prix on Sunday in which her car flew through the air before smashing into a fence.

Van Amersfoort Racing owner Frits van Amersfoort allayed fears with an update on Monday revealing there was no danger of Florsch being left paralysed, and she is already thinking of returning to the sport.

Sophia Florsch, 17, has vowed to return to racing after her horror crash at the weekend

Sophia Florsch, 17, has vowed to return to racing after her horror crash at the weekend

Florsch went over rival Sho Tsuboi before flying off the track at 172 mph at Macau GP

Florsch went over rival Sho Tsuboi before flying off the track at 172 mph at Macau GP

The F3 driver of the Van Amersfoort Racing team is seen after crashing into a media platform

The F3 driver of the Van Amersfoort Racing team is seen after crashing into a media platform

FACTORS THAT SAVED LIVES IN MACAU

Sausage kerb – Although it propelled Floersch airborne it prevented a T-Bone crash with another driver

High catch fencing – Absorbed a lot of energy and took velocity out of Floersch’s car

Medics response – Medical teams reacted quickly on the scene to attend to the stricken driver

Writing on her Facebook page, Florsch said: ‘I survived the operation which took 11 hours well. Hope from now on it only gets better. I have to stay a few more days in Macau until I’m transportable.

‘I want to thank all of my fans for every single get-well wishes, which I now start reading. This really motivates me and gives me courage. My thoughts are also with everyone who was involved in the accident. I hope everybody is healthy.

‘At the accident were really nice people, which I still have in my mind. Thank you for all the encouraging, calming words in these tough minutes in my car. A real big thanks to the medical staff here in Macau for the friendly and professional treatment.

‘A huge thank you to the local @FIA rescue-team, Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport, HWA AG, the FIA organisation and their medical team in the background and the Macau Organisation, who support me in the best way.

Footage from behind the crash shows the car travelling backwards towards the platform  

Footage from behind the crash shows the car travelling backwards towards the platform  

Marshals quickly rushed to Florsch's attention as officials waved red flags within seconds

Marshals quickly rushed to Florsch’s attention as officials waved red flags within seconds

Debris falls off the car as it lifts further off the ground and sends marshalls running for cover 

Debris falls off the car as it lifts further off the ground and sends marshalls running for cover 

‘Also a special thanks to Dr. Riccardo Ceccarelli and last but not least my Team Van Amersfoort Racing, Facu and Ferdinand, who all suffer with me – you are phenomenal. I’m going to come back! (By the way) Dallara built a very good chassis.’

On Monday, Florsch’s father also backed her to continue racing:’The doctors say that if everything continues to progress satisfactorily that she will be in hospital in Macau for six or seven days before flying back to Germany.

‘I am sitting at her side now and she’s just happy the surgery is done. 

‘Things will get better every day. But for now she has some pain — the drugs are wearing off.

‘We have not yet spoken about whether she will race again — it is too soon for that — but from my point of view there is nothing I would do to stop her.’ 

WHO IS SOPHIA FLORSCH?

Sophia Floersch was born in Grunwald, Germany, on December 1, 2000.

At just 17, the Formula Three driver is considered one of the up and coming drivers in motorsport.

She currently competes in FIA Formula 3 European Championship with Van Amersfoot Racing.

The German took up go-karting at the age of five and went on to compete in various competitions across Europe.

She broke a number of records in her early days and was the first female and youngest driver in three competitions.

She joined HHC Motorsport in the Ginetta Junior Championship when she was 14 and became the youngest person to win a race in the competition.

In 2015, she signed with Motopark to drive in the ADAC Formula 4 Championship.

She became the first female to score points in an ADAC Formula 4 race with her debut race.

After two years with Formula 4, she made the jump to Formula 3.

Her first test was in March and in July, it was announced she would join Van Amersfoort Racing.

She took part in the Macau Grand Prix on Sunday – but suffered a terrifying airborne crash, injuring herself and four others.  

Florsch, pictured before the Macau race, said she had come through the spinal surgery well

Florsch, pictured before the Macau race, said she had come through the spinal surgery well

The car was ruined by the crash and medical crews were quick to come to Floersch's aid

The car was ruined by the crash and medical crews were quick to come to Floersch’s aid

 


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