A 17-year-old race car driver from Germany survived a horrific crash on Sunday at the Formula 3 Macau Grand Prix.
Sophia Floersch, who fractured her spine in the terrifying 172 mph (274 kph) crash that sent her car flying off the track, underwent her first surgery on Monday.
Multiple angles in the footage captured by spectators showed Floersch’s car at high speed approaching a sharp right-hand turn before shooting over the track’s barrier like a rocket.
Floersch’s vehicle first smashed through a protective fence before landing on top of a photographer’s bunker.
While the cause of the crash is still under investigation, it is believed that Floersch had earlier hit the back of Indian racer Jehan Daruvala’s car while he was slowing down for yellow warning flags.
Floersch, who was then likely going around 172 mph, then spun out after the high-speed collision, sending her vehicle slamming into the wall before hitting the curb.
As Floersch’s car was launched in the air, its wheels also hit the roof of Japanese racer Sho Tsuboi’s car, which also ended up smacking into a wall.
According to the BBC, Tsuboi, two photographers and a racing marshal were also taken to the same hospital where Floersch was rushed to.
Soon after the crash, the teen would reveal that she was fine via an update posted on Twitter.
Just wanted to let everybody know that I am fine but will be going into Surgery tomorow morning. Thanks to the @fia and @hwaag_official @MercedesAMGF1 who are taking great care of me.
Thanks to everybody for the Supporting messages.
— Sophia Floersch (@SophiaFloersch) November 18, 2018
“Current interim information: The medical team is deliberately working slowly to avoid risks. The previous surgical course is good and without complications. The surgery that began this morning continues,” the teenage driver wrote on Twitter in German the next day.
Aktuelle Zwischeninfo: Das Ärzte-Team arbeitet bewusst langsam, um Risiken zu vermeiden. Der bisherige OP-Verlauf sei gut und ohne Komplikationen. Die heute morgen begonnene OP dauert an. pic.twitter.com/3gHSCtFe4B
— Sophia Floersch (@SophiaFloersch) November 19, 2018
“It was nearly a rocket. Surviving was incredible,” Frits van Amersfoort, the owner of Floersch’ racing team, Van Amersfoort Racing, told the BBC. “We reckon she was traveling at [172 mph] at the time.”
The Macau Grand Prix restarted an hour after the crash.
It is still unclear if Floersch will be returning as a Formula 3 racer as Van Amersfoort put out a statement saying that the teen is “not fit to race.”
— VanAmersfoortRacing (@VARmotorsport) November 18, 2018
“It took quite a long time before the race control could say anything about the health of Sophia,” Van Amersfoort was quoted as saying. “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.”
In her latest update on Instagram, Floersch revealed that her operation had went well.
“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,” she wrote.
View this post on Instagram
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 am 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, @mercedesamgf1 , @hwaag_official, the @fia.official and their medical team in the background and the Macau GP organisation, who support me in the best way. Also a special thank to Dr. Riccardo Ceccarelli and last but not least my Team @vanamersfoortracing, @facuregaliaoficial and @fhabsburg62 , who all suffer with me – you are phenomenal. 🤜🏻I’m going to come back!🤛🏻btw… @dallaragroup has build a very stabil chassis. #poweredbypassion #racegirl #onefamily /ad
Featured image via Instagram/sophiafloersch