JEDDAH (Reuters) -Mick Schumacher was taken to hospital for precautionary checks on Saturday after seemingly escaping unhurt from a huge crash in qualifying for the Saudi Formula One Grand Prix in Jeddah.
The U.S.-owned Formula One team said the 23-year-old German, son of Ferrari great and seven-times world champion Michael, appeared to be physically fine and had spoken to his mother Corinna.
He was taken by ambulance to the circuit medical centre after being extracted from the shattered car, which split in two when lifted on to a recovery truck, and then flown by helicopter to the King Fahad Armed Forces hospital.
The governing FIA said the assessment at the medical centre had revealed no broken bones.
“He has no injuries which you can see, they just wanted to check on him and do some scans to see that there is no damage from the impact,” team boss Guenther Steiner told Sky Sports television.
Commentators estimated the car was travelling at 170mph (274kph) at the time of impact into the concrete barriers at the exit to turn 10, scattering debris across the asphalt.
The floodlit Corniche street circuit is one of the fastest tracks on the calendar.
It looked from television replays that Schumacher, who had been ninth fastest, lost control of the car on the kerbs, spinning and slamming sideways into the wall. “Maybe he just tried a little bit too hard,” said Steiner. “Here if you make an error there’s no run-off. It’s walls.”
The crash was the second of the session, with Williams’s Canadian driver Nicholas Latifi bringing out red flags in the first phase. Steiner cast doubt on Schumacher being able to take part in the race.
“We need to see after the scans how he is doing, how the car is and then we decide what we do tomorrow,” added the Italian. “At some stage it’s maybe better not to start but I don’t know yet, I don’t want to anticipate that we don’t start. “We are considering everything for tomorrow. We have to see the car, which position we are in with spare parts.
“The car, there will be nothing left — everything needs to go back to be checked anyway after an impact like this so you need to build a complete new car.”