Injured German F3 driver Sophia Flörsch undergoes successful operation

German motor racing driver Sophia Flörsch has undergone surgery following a crash in Macau on Sunday. The operation on a fractured cervical vertebra is reported to have been successful.

The father of 17-year-old Sophia Flörsch was quoted by the motor-racing website motorsport-magazin.com as saying that the doctors who had conducted the operation were satisfied with its outcome.

"Sophia will be monitored in the intensive-care unit, where she will spend this Monday night," he said.

A spokesman for the health authorities in Macau said Flörsch had sustained a fractured cervical vertebra in the crash, and that the doctors had "deliberately worked slowly" during the 11-hour-long operation in order to minimize the associated risks.

According to her father, the Munich-area native broke her seventh cervical vertebra in the crash. However, he said her spinal cord had not been not damaged and confirmed that she had shown no signs of paralysis before the operation.  

Meanwhile, FIA, motor-racing's international governing body, has launched an investigation into the cause of the accident, in which another driver, Sho Tsuboi of Japan, two photographers, and a race steward were also injured.

Sunday's accident occurred during the Formula 3's Macau Grand Prix when Flörsch lost control of her Van Amersfoort car at a speed of just under 280 kilometers per hour (174 miles per hour). Her car hit Sho Tsuboi's before being catapulted through the air and through fencing.

Flörsch was conscious as she was transported to hospital and later tweeted that she was okay, although she would have to undergo surgery.

The 17-year-old is in her first F3 season, having made her debut at the Circuit Zandvoort in the Netherlands in July. She previously competed in Formula 4 and the Ginetta Junior Championship.

pfd/ (dpa, SID)