Sophia Floersch out of hospital and ‘walking again’ as she flies home after Macau Grand Prix horror crash
- German driver vows to be back on the grid for 2019 Macau race
- The 17-year-old gives update on her expected recovery time
Sophia Floersch has said she is finally leaving hospital and flying back home to Germany, eight days after fracturing her spine in a horror crash at the Macau Grand Prix.
The 17-year-old’s car went airborne after crashing at the Guia Circuit’s Lisboa corner, and was catapulted at 276 kilometres per hour (171 miles per hour) through the safety fencing and into a photographers’ bunker.
Fellow Formula Three driver Sho Tsuboi, as well as two photographers and a marshal, were also taken to the emergency room but none had life-threatening injuries.
“Today I am flying back home,” Floersch wrote in a Facebook post. “Really happy to see all my family and friends in the next days again.
“I am still overwhelmed by all the support I got from you fans all around the world.”
Floersch underwent 11 hours of surgery last Monday to repair the fracture, with doctors intentionally working slowly to remove a bone splinter that was dangerously close to her spinal cord.
Her Van Amersfoort Racing team boss admitted Floersch was “lucky to be alive” and that there had been initial fears of paralysis before the operation.
In her first update posted from her hospital bed last week, Floersch vowed “I’m coming back” and she reiterated her intention to get behind the wheel again.
Floersch, who turns 18 on Saturday, suggested she felt born again after saying the crash on November 18 was her “second birthday”.
“Now a new chapter starts and I can’t wait for it to begin. Let’s focus on 2019,” she said.
Floersch also thanked her nurses and doctors at the Conde S. Januario General Hospital, some of whom joined her at a press conference on Monday as she discussed her injuries and recovery.
“I had quite a bad crash, I think I had a lot of luck, and a lot of ‘un-luck’,” she said, smiling. “I think [some] of the biggest luck I had was having my surgeons, I think they worked for 12 hours on my neck.
“I’m very thankful for actually being here and I think having quite a good recovery until now,” she said. “I’m walking already. I’ll have to heal for the next month but I’ll for sure come back here and race again next year.”
Floersch was also named as an ambassador of goodwill to Macau and presented with a certificate.
“Every race lover loves Macau, I think, so much,” she said. “I also talked with the Macau committee, the guys who organise this one and it’s so great the work they’re doing.
“Thank you to the whole committee, the marshals, and the fire … extinguishers?” she added, to laughter in the room. “Firemen, sorry. And for just making it possible to drive here, it’s fun.”