Gelael ruled out of race after suffering back injury

Formula 2

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Formula 2 driver Sean Gelael has been ruled out of the rest of the weekend after sustaining a back injury in a crash during Saturday’s feature race.

Gelael was involved in an incident with Jack Aitken on the final lap of the race, the aftermath of which was shown in the broadcast. A statement issued by Formula 2 confirmed Gelael’s car went airborne in the incident. Footage showed Gelael’s car stationary in the run-off area before the turn 14/15 chicane.

The Medical Car was sent to the scene. Gelael was extricated from the car and taken to the nearby Hospital General De Granollers by ambulance.

Gelael underwent an MRI scan at the hospital where “a small fracture of a vertebra was identified”, according to F2. “He was released from the hospital last night and is expected to make a full recovery, however as a precaution, has been declared unfit to race today by the FIA Medical Delegate.”

“I’m all okay,” Gelael posted on social media. “I have a D4 mid-spine fracture. We will wait and see what the future will bring.”

The starting grid for Sunday’s sprint race has therefore been reduced to 21 cars, with Gelael’s team mate Dan Ticktum the sole remaining DAMS driver.

Updated 9:04am 16th August 2020

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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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16 comments on “Gelael ruled out of race after suffering back injury”

  1. Did he just faint?

    Hope this is not more serious

    1. So, vertebrae fractured on sausage kerb…

      I say itmight be a good thing – maybe they will finally get rid of these awful sausage kerbs, as they can now monitor “running off track” using other means, which is not dangerous for cars and drivers

  2. It did look strange how still he was sitting in the car with seemingly no damage and nobody around him. Hope he gets well soon.

    1. @tflb

      Just checked Twitter (so take with caution), but apparently he has suffered some vertebrae fractures after suffering 45G at some point in the car.

      No details on where that came from, especially since the scenes shown on the feed indicated little/no car damage.

  3. Hope it is just heat exhaustion. Circumstance gives me bad memories of massa at Hungary.

  4. I saw the shot of him right at the end of the race and my very first thought was the live feed had frozen up because it looked like he was not moving at all. But then they zoomed out and I was then really confused because it looked like he’d just come to a stop in the middle of that run off section in that last chicane and not crashed or hit anything.

    His head was like leaning to one side in an awkward position so I was a bit concerned but didn’t think anything more of it until I read this article. Hopefully just heat exhaustion, and he can recover quickly.

    1. @t1redmonkey

      His head was like leaning to one side in an awkward position

      I never want to see an open wheel driver in this position. It’s frighteningly similar to the position of Wilson’s head at Pocono.

  5. Was he conscious?! Did the medics talk to him?? It’s scary when there is no information!!

    1. well officially the F2 twitter account has said there will be confirmation in the morning as to whether he will take part in the sprint race. unofficially, it’s being reported that he’s suffered some sort of back fracture which is basically guaranteed to take him out of racing for at least 2 weeks.

  6. His father said Sean had fractured on his back. At least two weeks for recovery plus rehab time.

    It looks like thin tyres on 18″ wheel worsen impact on sausage kerb.

    1. Update

      Footage showed Gelael’s car stationary in the run-off area before the turn 14/15 chicane.

      Will they ever released the footage?

      1. Of stationary car?
        What is the point? There’s no separate footage of Sean jumping on sausage kerb. Just a shot of stationary car.

        You can watch it in F1 TV Pro if you are a subscriber

      2. The uselessness of low-profile tyres has once again been established.

  7. Hope he’s okay. Fingers crossed

  8. There is a post on Social media, I believe from him (galaelized) stating he has a fractured D4 vertebrae, mid spine. I assume D4 is upper thoracic vertebrae (T4), as L4 is much lower

  9. I don’t know severe that D4 mid-spine fracture is but I think it could take him months to recover so we won’t see him racing anymore in this season.

    It is still staggering that these things don’t happen more often. It just shows how safe these cars are even though drivers are sitting very close to the ground.

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