Alex Peroni, a Formula 3 driver, fractured his vertebra but miraculously survived after his car was sent spinning in the air before it slammed against a safety fence during the Italian Grand Prix at Monza Eni Circuit, Italy.
He was seen walking away from the incident with the support of race doctors where he was taken away in an FIA Formula 3 World Championship vehicle. The Australian reportedly had concussion-like symptoms and minor back pain, which turned out to be the fractured vertebra, according to autosport.com.
The vehicle driven by Peroni, a 19-year-old and 2016 Challenge Monoplace champion, was seen launching into the air after he hit the curb while rounding the famous, but dangerous Parabolica corner.
The curb was reportedly put in place to prevent drivers from using excessive speeds around the corner, but in this case, it looked like a launching pad. Following the violent crash, officials made the decision to delay the race and remove the curb in question.
The crash comes just a week after French driver, Anthoine Hubert, was killed during a crash at the Belgium Grand Prix that split his car in two. Another driver involved in the crash with Hubert, Juan Manuel Correa, was placed in a medically induced coma after spending the week in intensive care. He was originally reported to have only leg fractures, but he was eventually diagnosed with Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome.
“Unfortunately, this injury resulted in Juan Manuel falling into Acute Respiratory Failure. Juan Manuel is currently in an Intensive Care Unit that specializes in respiratory injuries,” his family said in a statement. “At this point of time he is in an induced state of unconsciousness and under ECMO support. Juan Manuel is in critical but stable condition. We are confident that our son will surprise us like he always does with his tremendous fighting will and strength and will recover completely.”
“At this time, we kindly request that our privacy and space be respected. As a family, we need to pull together and be 100% there for Juan Manuel,” they added.
Following the crash on Saturday, the use of curbs was criticized on social media by former Formula 1 driver Alex Wurz and commentator, Tom Gaymor.
Peroni was in sixth place after the first race in Monza over the weekend, but he will now miss the second race of the season and could be out longer. Peroni was sent to a hospital near Monza where he is being evaluated. He joined the FIA Formula 3 Championship earlier this year with Campos Racing.