16 August 2020 10:41
Formula 2 driver Sean Gelael has been ruled out of the rest of the weekend after sustaining a back injury in a crash during Saturday's feature race. Gelael was involved in an incident with Jack Aitken on the final lap of the race, the aftermath of which was shown in the broadcast. A statement issued by Formula 2 confirmed Gelael's car went airborne in the incident. Footage showed Gelael's car stationary in the run-off area before the turn 14/15 chicane. The Medical Car was sent to the scene.
Gelael was extricated from the car and taken to the nearby Hospital General De Granollers by ambulance. Gelael underwent an MRI scan at the hospital where "a small fracture of a vertebra was identified", according to F2. "He was released from the hospital last night and is expected to make a full recovery, however as a precaution, has been declared unfit to race today by the FIA Medical Delegate." "I'm all okay," Gelael posted on social media. "I have a D4 mid-spine fracture. The starting grid for Sunday's sprint race has therefore been reduced to 21 cars, with Gelael's team mate Dan Ticktum the sole remaining DAMS driver.
"During an incident on the final lap of the Barcelona F2 Feature Race with Jack Aitken, Sean Gelael's car went airborne and landed hard," read a statement published by DAMS. "The medical car was deployed to extract Sean as he was experiencing back pain and was taken to Barcelona Hospital for a precautionary X-ray and MRI scan. "Sean was diagnosed with a broken D4 vertebra and consequently will not compete in today's sprint race. It is unclear at this time if he will be able to race at the next round at Spa-Francorchamps on August 28-30, but he is expected to make a full recovery. "Sean went back to his hotel last night and is in good spirits." The Indonesian driver sits 17th in the drivers' standings, with three points to his name having already had five non-finishes this season, mostly through reliability issues.
"Following an incident on the final lap of the Barcelona Feature Race with Campos Racing's Jack Aitken, Sean Gelael's car went airbone and landed hard," an F2 statement read. "The Medical Car was deployed to extract the Indonesian driver who was then transferred by ambulance to Hospital General De Granollers for precautionary checks. "Following an MRI scan yesterday evening, a small fracture of a vertebra was identified. He was released from the hospital last night and is expected to make a full recovery, however as a precaution, has been declared unfit to race today by the FIA Medical Delegate." In an Instagram post from his hospital bed, Gelael said: "Hi Guys, thanks for all the kind messages. I'm all ok, i have a D4 mid spine Fracture. We will wait and see what the future will bring. Thank you." The F2 sprint race gets underway at 11:10 local time (10.10 BST) at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, with Felipe Drugovich starting on reverse grid pole position. Gelael ground to a halt on the final lap of Saturday's main race with just two corners to go and appeared unable to get out of the car under his own power. According to a statement by the FIA, the Indonesian driver was helped out of the car by the medical team and was then transferred to a nearby hospital for precautionary checks. "The FIA advises that an incident occurred during the final lap of the FIA Formula 2 Feature Race today, in Barcelona, involving Sean Gelael," the statement read. "He was extricated by the attending medical crew and has been transferred by ambulance to Hospital General De Granollers for precautionary checks." The race was won by MP Motorsport driver Nobuharu Matsushita, who recovered from an 18th starting position to take a stellar comeback win in an eventful feature race. Robert Shwartzman and Guanyu Zhou joined the Japanese driver on the podium, while an unhappy championship leader Callum Ilott had to settle for fifth. Ahead of any Formula One race, there are always one or two support races, namely Formula 3 and Formula 2. Following the F1 qualifying session in Spain, the FIA Formula 2 championship held its feature race. However, there was a worrying incident involving Indonesian driver Sean Gelael. As it turned out, on the last lap of the race, his DAMS car inexplicably stopped on the track. The youngster had previously tangled with Giuliano Alesi earlier in the race, but was seemingly unaffected. Unfortunately, his luck didn't last and the car ground to a halt and he was apparently unconscious. After the marshals pulled him out of the car, he was promptly rushed to hospital for a check up. What happened to Sean Gelael? At the time of the incident, the DAMS driver was running in 17th place when he came to a stop with two corners to go. This was a very strange incident, because there was no physical sign of damage to his car. As per an FIA statement no other drivers were involved in the incident. It said, "An incident occurred during the final lap of the FIA Formula 2 feature race today, in Barcelona, involving Sean Gelael." "The DAMS driver was immediately attended to by emergency and medical crews. He was extricated by the attending medical crew and has been transferred by ambulance to Hospital General De Granollers for precautionary checks." Meanwhile, Nobuharu Matsushita won the race ahead of Robert Shwartzman and Guanyu Zhou. Matsushita's win was quite a feat because he started the race all the way down in 18th place. From there, he was able to scythe his way up the order and eventually take the win. However, the Gelael incident certainly overshadowed his victory, as the Formula 2 paddock anxiously waits for information. So far there is no more news on the Indonesian driver