Pourchaire and Fittipaldi taken to hospital as start line crash stops F2 race

Formula 2

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Formula 2 drivers Theo Pourchaire and Enzo Fittipaldi have been taken to hospital after a crash which occured seconds after today’s feature race started.

Pourchaire’s ART car failed to get away at the start from his third place on the grid. Behind him Campos driver Enzo Fittipaldi, who had started 18th and crossed the track towards the racing line, appeared not to see the stationary car.

Fittipaldi struck Pourchaire’s car at speed. Debris from the crash flew high into the air, some of which appeared to clear the fence on the pit wall.

The race was quickly red-flagged and stopped. Pourchaire and Fittipaldi received treatment in their cars during the stoppage that followed. The FIA subsequently confirmed both drivers “were immediately attended to by emergency and medical crews.”

“The drivers were conscious and extricated by the attending medical crews,” added the FIA in a statement. “Both have been transferred by ambulance and helicopter to King Fahad Armed Forces Hospital, Jeddah.”

The original start of the race had already been heavily delayed. It was due to begin at 17:25 local time, but delayed by almost 40 minutes due to barrier repairs at turn 14.

Once the crash scene was cleared a truncated race finally began. However this was cut short by a further crash involving several drivers, none of which were injured.

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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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25 comments on “Pourchaire and Fittipaldi taken to hospital as start line crash stops F2 race”

  1. Terrible feeling about this track. Not just the lack of run off but also the narrow track and high speed corners
    F1 doesn’t need these tyrant regimes and their expensive playpens. Drop this already.

    1. Yes I usually don’t get bad feelings for races but this particular track has me feeling uneasy for the Grand Prix

    2. It’s more likely you’ll get to see Oman GP, Yemen GP, and (if they ever get “good guys” badge from the USA gov. like Saudi royal family for example) why not Iran GP. If Africa ever gets a race it’ll probably be some African version of these countries, like Sudan, why not.

      1. Or another race in the US which is just as racist and homophobic as saudi…

        1. Lol, not sure there are any women in prison in the US charged with driving an automobile in 2005 but great points you make!…………….

    3. Yeah, I am not sure I can really enjoy the racing on this track. There are just so many points where it is an accident waiting to happen and a big one Sridhar, @canadianjosh

      Quite baffling that we need to have these kind of thoughts about a brand new purpose built track in 2021 really.

  2. +1 Something feels off with the whole track.

    1. It’s extremely fast but extremely tight, a bad accident is going to happen here maybe not this year but eventually a bad one will happen here, saying that I guess this is why this sport is still so extreme. They’re so close to death yet so far away, these guys are gladiators.

    2. But this was down to stupid driving and nothing else

  3. Like I’ve said elsewhere, I have at least some sympathy with Monaco for its narrow start finish straight, but this was specifically designed from scratch to be this way. A narrow grid will inevitably mean a much more bunched field width wise, and more chance of this type of accident. Looks like a bad shunt leg wise, I really hope it’s not a Billy monger type situation for Fittipaldi. The Tilke design office can take the blame for this.

    1. Tilke and FIA right to the top, they’re together in this.

      1. Yeah agreed. Also I believe it isn’t even 250m to the first corner which is a grade 1 requirement, again ‘relaxed’.

        1. RandomMallard (@)
          5th December 2021, 17:28

          @john-h I don’t think there are really grade 1 ‘requirements’ as such. There are guidelines and recommendations that will obviously help you, but you can alter a couple of these and still get away with it I believe as the FIA consider it on a track-by-track basis. Especially if your pile of money is big enough

          1. Indeed @randommallard ! As you can tell I’m not a fan of this track :)

    2. @john-h This could have happened in any track. That start/finish line is wide enough for 3-4 cars. I’m not sure but I think the problem was Fittipaldi wasn’t just able to react fast enough rather than characterics of the track.

      1. No @qeki I completely disagree. Compare this with Baku and Singapore, this is much narrower. Only Monaco compares to this, and as above you should never ‘design’ a track to be like this. Nope. This is avoidable.

        1. @john-h It might be narrower than most of the tracks but even if this would have happened in any other track there is barely time at all to react to a standing car if you’re are going ~130kp/h and there is a car next and maybe behind you. I think drivers would prefer crashing in to a wall than another driver if they would have the time to do it.
          But of course on the other side there was that wall and that is track’s characteristics but that is the case in every other track on the starting line.

    3. Totally agree. Apprehensive about this one and also wishing Enzo all the best

    4. Sorry but this had nothing to do with track design

    5. Wholly agree there @josh, @salty, @randommallard, there is no good reason whatsoever not to build it wider at least at some points on a brand new purose built facility. Heck even Monaco has been adapted at several points to try and make it somewhat roomy in the past.

      Sure, driving into the back of a stalled car IS a risk at almost every track. But having more room to avoid it can help mitigate the risk of that leading to a massive accident.

      1. RandomMallard (@)
        6th December 2021, 9:31

        @bascb My understanding is this track is only ever meant to be a stop-gap until a new permanent one in Qiddya is built. My worry as a result is that they don’t want to make any changes for only 1, maybe 2, more races, and the race next season ends up being just as much of an embarrassment as this year.

        1. Yeah, at first I thought it absurd they would build one track only for a race or 3 @randommallard, but now I am somewhat happy they will be building a new one for the long term. Although I fear you might be right about that leading to a reluctance to improve things here, sadly.

          The narrowness really cannot be easily solved on the start-finish straight now , I guess. But I think they could at least work on some of the parts where they have mobile barriers that can be adjusted to just give that little bit more room and possibly also offer a tad more visibility ahead.

  4. Anyone else getting imola 94 vibes this weekend…?

    1. Just those who overreact to everything

  5. People complain about blind high speed corners but yet love radillion?

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