Sophia Floersch, Van Amersfoort, 2018

Floersch, Tsuboi and three others injured in huge Macau F3 crash

Formula Three

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Five people including two drivers were injured in the huge crash during today’s Macau Formula Three Grand Prix, the FIA has confirmed.

Van Amersfoort driver Sophia Floersch was launched through a crash barrier at huge speed in the incident at the Lisboa corner on the fourth lap of the race. The cause of the incident is unclear, though Floersch’s car arrived at the corner much faster than the others and was launched when it struck Sho Tsuboi’s TOM’S machine.

Tsuboi has also been taken to hospital along with three others. A statement from the FIA described them as a marshal and two members of the media. All five were “transferred to a local hospital in a conscious state for further evaluation”, the FIA said in a statement.

Floersch posted a message on social media saying she is “fine” but confirming she will have surgery on Monday.

“Just wanted to let everybody know that I am fine but will be going into surgery tomorrow morning,” she wrote. “Thanks to the FIA and HWA/Mercedes [engine supplier] who are taking great care of me.

“Thanks to everybody for the supporting messages. Update soon.”

FIA president Jean Todt said the sport’s governing body is “mobilised to help the victims and analyse what happened. We will monitor the situation and make the necessary conclusions.

“All my thoughts are with Sophia Floersch and the others injured. I wish you all a safe recovery.”

The race was stopped while the crash scene was cleared. Dan Ticktum won the restarted race.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 69 comments on “Floersch, Tsuboi and three others injured in huge Macau F3 crash”

    1. @ ..complete recovery for ALL involved

      1. Floersch is one lucky lady, her head just missed the Armco barrier by inches. Criminal that F3 doesn’t have mandatory halos yet. That should change Monday morning.

        1. Doubt even a real halo would have saved her in that one!!!!

          1. Why so? It looks like the perfect scenario where Halo would be useful!
            What a nightmare crash.

        2. I wouldn’t call it “criminal”.

          1. If you really want to criminalize someone, it’s the girl’s parents, not F3.

            1. Parents failed to convince her to knit or cook or write poetry. There’s no halo device to fix bad parenting.

            2. Competing in a FIA-sanctioned series for which one is appropriately credentialed and compliant is legal.

              So is permitting someone to compete in such a series.

              So is running such a series according to known safety best practise (especially when the actual injuries appear to be energy-transfer related, of a type Halo isn’t designed to alleviate).

              Nobody should be criminalised here. Just find out what can be pragmatically improved and make the improvements.

            3. @alianora-la-canta – I wouldn’t bother, that “specimen” genuinely believes that women are inferior to men and has considers himself to “own” women in his life (Not that he has any, but a boy can dream).

            4. @sleepywill it’s PREMIUM specimen, thanks. no I don’t “own” them, except in particular circumstances, and they’re VERY OK with that. And I’ve only ever talked about their inferiority in sport and motorsport, which only an idiot would deny. And no, I’m not implying this was the cause of the accident, it could have happened to any man.

        3. Most of the F3 series were mandating Halos as of 2019, even before this crash. The only ones that weren’t were the ones planning their next chassis redesign in 2020 (and these are not the sort of series that can pay for a car redesign every year – I believe Macau has discretion to reject entries from such a series if it feels they would compromise safety) or ones using historic F3 chassis (which cannot compete in Macau and have other limits on how they can be used).

          F3 was waiting to make sure F1 didn’t reveal any major problems in the implementation phase before committing to apply them to their own cars. That’s sensible. Now it has been demonstrated F1 can make the idea work, the F3 series are correctly implementing them as fast as their car designs permit.

        4. @greenflag Absolutely. Not just F1 to get the benefit of the halo. This must surely have converted even the staunchest opponent to it.

    2. This was one of the most insane and vicious impacts ever and anywhere. Hopefully all can recover without lasting consequences. We just did an interview with Sophia few weeks ago, so it is closer to home than usual…

    3. There’s a video from the grandstand where the car completely shoots into the picture at an insane speed, I can’t remember seeing a crash like this before but it’s an absolute miracle no marshals or photographers were killed, absolute miracle.

      1. Completely agree @canadianjosh, Shocking accident. Other members of my family that I showed it to could barely believe it either. Such a close scrape with the photographers and marshalls behind the barrier, by the sounds of it several of them have injuries that they are getting treated, here’s hoping for the best recovery possible for all involved.

      2. Lemans 1955

        1. LeMans 1955, the Mercedes hurtled into the grand stands at 125 mph and caught fire.

          Apparently, Floersch’s car was doing 170 MPH when it went ballistic.

    4. Very best wishes for a speedy and full recovery.

    5. There was contact back down on the straight, most likely damaged suspension causing her to lose control

      Towards the end of this vid:
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Yp8MGD-2y4

      hoping for full and quick recovery for everyone involved.

      1. Thanks for this view, it’s always an initial instinct to wonder what caused it. I’d suspected brake failure, but an impact giving suspension failure makes a lot of sense.

    6. Ferrari junior and Prema drive Zhou stated that the accident occurred due to a marshall post displaying a yellow flag by mistake. This Caused Floersch to hit the right rear of Enaam Ahmed, who lifted because of the flag, explaining the huge speed involved. Also once again raises the practicalities of the sausage kerbs, which launched Floersch into another car and into the fence

      1. I can’t comment as to the reason for the gross speed difference, but there is video of her touching wheels with another car, causing her to lose complete control of the car. It’s hard to see whether or not it was sidewall contact or if her front left contacted the right rear of the other car in the video.

      2. Having seen the horrendous accident it is definitely the blue sausage kerb on the inside of the bend that turns a car crash into the ‘plane crash’ that it became. Without the kerb it still of course would have been horrendous (think Sato and Heidfeld, Austria 2002) but atleast it would probably have been contained within the confines of the safety barriers, so atleast the poor photographers would have been OK.

        1. Yes, the FIA MUST STOP using these idiotic “sausage kurbs”. The are incredibly unsafe and worse, they defeat all the other safety equipment by launching the cars. If the FIA needs to stop cars from cutting the track then just penalize them, don’t put in features which make the tracks dangerous.

      3. Actually, the sausage kerbs probably saved both Floersch and Tsubio from worse injuries. They lifted her enough to avoid a direct hit on Tsuboi’s cockpit: Details on motorsport.com: https://www.motorsport.com/f3/news/sophia-floersch-macau-crash-analysis/4300061/

    7. The first footage I saw of this accident was in slow motion, but then I saw it in real time and was all the more shocked at the speed and violence of the impact. I hope everyone involved recovers from their injuries. Here’s wishing them and their loved ones every bit of strength.
      On a side note, adding insult to injury, the first reflex of many of the people in the grandstand was to reach for their smarphones and start filming. A sad commentary on the human race (almost wrote “civilisation”, but my moral auto-correct intervened).

      1. Noticed that too. Disgusting.

      2. A sad commentary on the human race (almost wrote “civilisation”, but my moral auto-correct intervened).

        Says the guy who watched the accident first in slow motion and then in real speed.
        How cruel for people to make you watch this :P

        1. You are off the mark there @coldfly, if they were there at the event and did the same then yes. But you can hardly judge the person for watching the video.

          1. Why @tonyyeb?
            He can watch them all he wants, but shouldn’t be a hypocrite question the morals of the people who made those same videos.
            But that might be just my moral compass ;)

            1. @coldfly Watching the video and recording it vs helping is very far removed from being comparable.

            2. How could people in the grandstands have helped, @tonyyeb?
              To me recording or watching those clips goes into the same moral drawer.

            3. @coldfly I can only speak for myself but if it were possible I’d have been straight down offering my First Aid skills. I guess morality is subjective, you put it in the same drawer, I don’t.

            4. if it were possible I’d have been straight down offering my First Aid skills.

              Fully agree there, @tonyyeb (and last week I did exactly that when there was a minor incident close to me).

            5. @coldfly I guess like a lot of things, it comes down to what kind of person you are. I’m glad there is another person out there who would put others before themselves in some way.

            6. Thanks for all the heartfelt responses. To clarify: I am not a crash fan or a disaster tourist; when I drive past an accident, I don’t slow down to watch and stare, I actually stop, get out and help (and have effectively done so in the past). I don’t get a rush from watching people hurt themselves. I watched the video to know what happened, because I care about motorsport and the people in it, from the drivers to the pit crews, to the stewards, the photographers behind the catch fencing …
              My comment was aimed at those people in the stands who only started filming once the accident had happened, not at racefans who were already filming for love of the sport. And yes, my comment was generalising, but that’s because the circumstances stirred my dislike of how many people today (another generalisation, I know) experience the world around them not “in living colour” with their own eyes, but through the lens of their smartphone camera or through their online social media persona. — End of rant —
              To be honest, I was already wary of adding that comment, because I knew it would open me up to accusations of hypocrisy and because the expected backlash of comments is exactly the sort of thing that stops me from posting online.

      3. Seems to me people were already filming the race… and, without their footage, you would not have been able to watch anything… Just my 2¢.

        1. ^This.

          Also, it’s not like the audience are in any position to help, but are ignoring that humane task just to grab a video.

          1. Hi Phylyp – I’ve asked before, here… but can you explain to me how ‘this’ came to be used in this context, please…? I’ve not seen it on other sites, and only recently on RaceFans…
            “Bemused…”

            1. Oh, it’s common Internet commenting etiquette (not specific to this site), where agreement with a point made just above is made with “^ This” or a “+1”, instead of quoting it and typing out “I agree”. I believe “This” in such a context is a shorthand for “I echo this” or “I agree with this”.

            2. Many thanks Phylyp – I know “+1”. Thanks for the derivation of “this”.
              Live a little – Learn a little.

      4. Running out into a track where actual high speed racing was occurring would have been idiotic and would have caused more injuries and accidents.

        Everyone here can brag about what they “would” have done easily in a calm environment after the fact where you had plenty of time to digest (as well as know what happened ahead of time) and at the same time claim moral high ground.

        Frankly I find that far more disgusting than what the crowds did and definitely a far higher significance on what civilization has come to.

    8. That’s one nasty crash. Hopefully, everyone involved can fully recover from that.

    9. Very Greg Moore-ish type of crash… that same sinking feeling in my stomach when I saw the car hit. They all are very lucky to be alive. Hopefully everyone involved will pull through & make a full recovery.

    10. Wishing all a full recovery. I saw the crash under the headline that Floersch had suffered a spinal fracture and after seeing the video my first thought was that’s all she got. With the speed and violence of the crash my first thought was that no one could survive that. Thankfully the standards for chassis design and crash survival have not been skimped on. I sincerely hope that Floersch will be able to continue her racing career.

    11. That was scary. Good to know she’s fine. Hope she makes it back to racing to persuit her dreams and goals.

    12. Florsch and the other people like marshals and photographers are yet more lucky than it appears at first hand.
      First, when the car hits the protective fencing above the guardrail it flies high enough to pass above the marshals standing behind it.

      Second, the car passes just to the right of the television camera stand which is a flimsy and totally unprotected structure. If the car had hit this structure it would have been completely destroyed by the car.

      Third, when the car flies rear first into the fencing it is tilted 90 degrees and hits the the photographers stand behind flat on its top surface which transmits the force over a larger surface of the stand. Had the car continued whit its heavier rear first end straight into the stand it would probably had gone straight trough it.

      Fourth, The photographers stand is protected by steel barriers which are mounted with a gap of approximately
      halv a meter through which the photographers can se out of the structure.
      The car hits the steel barriers in such a way that the roll over hop hits a steel barrier just below the gap between them and Florschs head can pass exactly in his gap between the barriers.
      If the roll over hop had landed just a little higher, in the gap between the barriers her head would have hit a steel rail instead with a much different outcome.

      1. Wow.

        Seems like halos were involved after all.

        1. That’s a nice sentiment, mog :-)

    13. I was surprised to see the car flying in what seemed to be a straight line and not in in an arc, so it was being pulled down by the force of gravity. There’s one video that appears to show the car flying backwards, which probably explains the unusual trajectory, and indeed the close up of the crashed car suggests this was so.
      These cars don’t seem to be fitted with Halo.
      I too was surprised at the speed of Florsch’s car as well.
      Do these cars have onboard cameras?

    14. I don’t want to see what happened.
      I remember watching Floersch in Ginetta’s in the UK and wishing her lots of success. Now I just want her to be well.

      1. @nickwyatt: Agree. Hope everyone recovers and the FIA either perfect or ban flying cars.

    15. Is there ever a year without injury/major incident in Macau GP in the recent years? (invlusive of motorcycle).

      Not sure if there is really a solutiom to addrrss these issues.

    16. Are trackside safety features (barriers, catch fencing, etc.) common to F1/F2/F3 races? Or do support races run on an F1 weekend benefit from better safety structures put up for F1? As an F1 viewer of about 10 years, it just seems unusual for a car to leave the track in such a manner (to me the weirdest crash was Kimi at Silverstone in 2014).

      1. As F1 viewer for 26 years can say airborn are not usual crashes. And F1 is significantly more safer than other series, especially junior series. But those series have another problem – too much kids. So Daruvala could simply think mirrors are not for cool guys or could try to “teach” her. Of course we need more videos to judge. But it’s all possible.

      2. There is now a full video on YouTube. Either she was breaking too late or he was breaking too early. Front left suspension got broken on contact. Telemetry will say.

        1. There is a version on youtube which shows her travelling backwards for some considerable distance. The most obvious point as she is sliding along the barriers is the dust and dirt being kicked up, with the kerb keeping the tyres off the tracks so at that point it is friction only slowing her down, no positive braking going on at all. The kerb causes the car to lift and strike the other car at just the right point to get fully airborne, but that (and the rest) you have already seen.

    17. Please ban street racing. Race car should race in proper race track. Thank you.

      1. Street racing is proper tracks, you must be refering to the airfieldtracks.

        1. Gabriel – sad that you use this topic to voice another inanity…
          Sad for you, that is…!

          1. Im not using this topic im replying to a comment that is. The earth hasnt stopped because of a crash.

            1. And this reply is also inane…! Seems to be your forte… ;-)

      2. Street racing is better and funnier than track racing. There should be more street tracks.

        (I’m not even trolling, I genuinely think that)

    18. That’s really crazy and – gotta admit – it speaks to the halo

    19. That was scary to watch.

    20. https://www.bbc.com/sport/motorsport/46267135
      This is REALLY good news !
      Here’s hoping it’s smooth sailing ahead for her :)

    21. Oops, I was so distracted by Lando’s pimples I scrolled right by Keith’s link in the Round-up…

    22. Glad to hear everyone is OK and that her surgery went well. Tsuboi was the one I was interested in seeing in this race, given that he had an absolutely ridiculous record this season in the All-Japan F3 championship ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2018_All-Japan_Formula_Three_Championship#Drivers'_Championships). It would’ve been good to see how he matched against the Europeans. But given events, glad everyone gets to see another race day.

    Comments are closed.