Enzo Fittipaldi, one of the two drivers involved in the violent start-line crash in Formula 2’s feature race in Jeddah last weekend, has given an update on his condition.
The grandson of two-time Formula 1 world champion Emerson Fittipaldi drove into the rear of ART’s Theo Pourchaire, who had stalled on the grid several rows in front of him, in Sunday evening’s race and their collision led to red flags being waved.
The race was heavily delayed while the pair were extracted from their cars. The impact, which Fittipaldi confirmed had a force of 72G, sent debris over the pit wall.
Both drivers were taken to hospital. Pourchaire reported later that evening he was uninjured, while information on Fittipaldi only came to light on Monday.
“Hey guys, I am very grateful that I only broke my heel and have some cuts and bruises,” Fittipaldi posted on social media from the hospital bed he is recovering in. “Thank you all for the messages, as well as the FIA and medical staff for taking great care of me. I am very happy that Theo is okay. I will be back on track soon and faster than ever.”
The FIA subsequently confirmed in a statement Fittipaldi suffered a fracture in his right heel as well as a “lesion on his left eyebrow”. He is said to be “making good progress” after spending a night in intensive care.
The F2 season concludes this weekend in Abu Dhabi, and neither of the teams involved in the crash has stated whether they will be able to complete the chassis repairs that would be required to the two cars for them to be race-ready by this Friday.
Pourchaire, who earlier on in the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix weekend had spun into the turn 22 barriers at high-speed and carried damage from that crash into a 19th-to-sixth charge in the Saturday night sprint race, also reassure fans on social media he was recovering well.
“I’m globally fine,” Pourchaire wrote. “For the moment I don’t know if it’s already the end of the season for me. But the most important is not that, that was a really big one and Enzo is injured. I wish him the best recovery possible.”
In an exchange with fellow driver Jake Hughes, Pourchaire said the crash might not have happened if F2 cars were fitted with anti-stall electronics. “This is not acceptable to not have an anti-stall,” he wrote. “We could have avoided that.”
Stalling was a frequent problem when the Dallara F2 2018 chassis was first introduced to the championship three years ago. A spate of failed getaways led the series to temporarily replace standing starts with rolling ones. Since then teams have begun using different throttle maps which reduce the risk of stalling.
Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and
2021 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix
How Hamilton and Verstappen’s roughest scrap yet played out on the radio
Brawn defends Masi following criticism of Saudi Arabian GP decisions
F1 drivers want safety changes to Jeddah’s “Suzuka with walls” layout
2021 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix Star Performers
How the drivers and teams’ titles will be decided in Abu Dhabi