New Delhi: Formula One driver Carlos Sainz survived a heavy crash during final practice session at the Russian Grand Prix on Saturday.
The Spaniard lost control in the kink ahead of Turn 13 and hit the barriers at high speed at the Sochi Autodrom. His Toro Rosso car was buried deep into the Tec-Pro barriers on the other side of the run-off area.
— Jhonatan Jeives (@Jhonatan_Jeives) October 10, 2015
The FIA said that Sainz was conscious and talking to doctors before being airlifted to hospital. He was extracted from the scene by the medical team. Saturday's final practice was cut short, with 25 minutes still left in the session, after the accident.
According to reports, the 21-year-old gave a thumbs up as he was stretchered into a medical vehicle. Besides, a loss of power on the car was also reported which could have hindered Sainz's rescue with the STR team unable to contact the driver by radio immediately after the accident.
— Formula 1 (@F1) October 10, 2015
Sainz joined STR last November and scored points on his debut at the 2015 Australian Grand Prix, finishing in ninth position. His father is a former double World Rally Champion, Carlos Sainz.
With Sainz unlikely to recover in time for the qualifying later in the day, STR will have only one driver left in the race. There's no provision to replace a driver after qualifying.
After the premature end to the session, Nico Rosberg ended as the fastest driver ahead of Valterri Bottas of Williams. Rosberg’s Mercedes teammate and championship leader Lewis Hamilton was the third fastest.