Thai F1 driver survives spectacular crash

Thai F1 driver survives spectacular crash

Toro Rosso driver Alexander Albon of Thailand waits for help to get out of his crashed car during the third practice session for the Chinese FGrand Prix at the Shanghai International Circuit on Saturday. (AP Photo)
Toro Rosso driver Alexander Albon of Thailand waits for help to get out of his crashed car during the third practice session for the Chinese FGrand Prix at the Shanghai International Circuit on Saturday. (AP Photo)

SHANGHAI: Thai-British Formula 1 driver Alexander Albon walked away from a stunning crash on Saturday in the final practice session ahead of the Chinese Grand Prix.

Albon’s Toro Rosso car hit the wall on the final turn as fans sat in silence until with only his still head visible in the cockpit. He broke the silence after several seconds, making radio contact with the pits and signalling he was in good shape.

“Sorry guys,” he said over the team radio.

The British-born Thai driver lost control on the final corner, with the car starting to slide. He tried to regain control but ploughed into a wall near the pit lane, with parts of the car scattered across the track.

It was not clear if the car could be repaired in time for qualifying later on Saturday. If he misses qualifying he could still race from the back of the grid.

The crash came in the final minutes of practice with Valtteri Bottas of Mercedes clocking the fastest time — 1 minute, 32.830 seconds. Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel was 0.392 seconds behind followed by Charles Leclerc of Ferrari and Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes.

Hamilton and Bottas have won the first two races this season and, with Vettel and Leclerc, will be the favourites on Sunday


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