Australian teenager Alex Peroni has walked away from a massive crash at Monza as part of the Italian Grand Prix Formula three support category.
The Tasmanian hit a sausage kerb in his Campos Racing team car and flipped in the air several times before landing upside down into a barrier.
According to the ABC, Peroni’s manager, David Quinn, said Peroni had been lucky.
“His helmet and the HANS (head and neck support) device that goes around the neck and the halo on the car, they’ve obviously saved his life, it could have been far worse accident,” Quinn said.
Peroni, who is in his first season in formula three, later posted on social media revealing he had suffered a fractured vertebra.
“That was a big one.. Currently recovering in hospital with a broken vertebra,” he said on Instagram.
“Not sure the recovery time but hope to be back in the car as soon as possible. Thanks everyone for the messages and support I really appreciate it.”
Australian Renault F1 driver Daniel Ricciardo, who had been watching his compatriot’s race, said another lesson had been learned.
“You would never think that little kerb there could have such an impact,” he said.
“Unfortunately sometimes something needs to happen until you realise the consequence of it.
“I never, ever looked at that kerb thinking that’s a danger, that’s a threat.
“Crazy. It’s another lesson for us. Even if it seems like nothing, you get a little bit of turbulence under the car and it can take off…now we just know that we can’t have these (kerbs) on any high speed corners.”
It appeared the recently introduced halo head protection system was instrumental in avoiding a life-threatening injury.
Officials at Monza have since removed the sausage kerb that sent the Australian’s car flying.
The incident came only a week after the death of Frenchman Anthoine Hubert in the formula two category at the Belgian Grand Prix.
The other driver involved in that accident American-Ecuadorian driver Juan Manuel Correa has been placed in an induced coma after suffering acute respiratory failure.
In a statement on Saturday, his parents said the 20-year-old was in a critical but stable condition in a London hospital.
Correa suffered a spinal injury and fractured his legs in last week’s crash.