Toro Rosso Formula One driver Carlos Sainz suffered a heavy crash in today’s final practice for the 2015 Russian Grand Prix at the Sochi Autodrom. The Spanish driver hit the wall in the run-off area at turn 13, the second fastest section of the Sochi circuit.
Replays showed the car hit the wall before the turn in point for turn 13, before appearing to lose all brakes as it slid toward the wall. The car went into the tec-pro barriers head-on, with the impact lifting the barriers up and over the car. The car then broke the steel barrier on the other side.
After a lengthy extrication process, Sainz was lifted out of the car in his seat and placed onto a stretcher. As he was moved into the ambulance, Sainz gave a thumbs up to the TV cameras, showing that he was conscious and providing relief to teams, drivers and fans. He was then transported to the circuit medical helicopter that then took him to hospital.
“He is conscious and with the doctors,” Said Toro Rosso team principal Franz Tost, “We don’t know what his conditions are but so far it seems he is OK. It seems the car got lost under braking and we must find out why.”
It is likely that the car will not be repairable in time to be out in qualifying later today. What’s more, Sainz’s possible injuries could prevent him from getting back in the car for the next few races if they are serious enough. The team would not be able to draft in a substitute driver for the race due to FIA regulations.
More details will be provided when they emerge.