Gelael to miss Barcelona sprint race after fracturing spine

DAMS Formula 2 driver Sean Gelael suffered a back fracture after a heavy impact with a kerb in Saturday’s feature event in Barcelona.

Gelael to miss Barcelona sprint race after fracturing spine

He will miss today’s feature race at the Spanish GP venue, but the FIA said he has was released from hospital last night, and will make a full recovery.

The Indonesian stopped on track on the last lap of a dramatic race, and later the FIA revealed that he had required medical attention and had been transferred to a local hospital.

A statement noted that: “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 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.”

Later it emerged that the 23-year-old had suffered a reported 45g kerb impact which forced him to stop the car.

On Saturday evening Gelael’s father Ricardo indicated on social media that his son had suffered a spine fracture, and that he would be out of action for two weeks and require rehab.

Later the driver confirmed details of the injury in an Instagram post, which included a picture of himself in his hospital bed.

He wrote: “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 FIA noted on Sunday morning: "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.”

Gelael is in his sixth season at GP2/F2 level, and while he has logged two podium finishes, he has yet to register a win. He has had a difficult start to 2020 after moving from Prema to DAMS, having scored a best result of seventh in the sprint race at the Styrian GP.

His absence today means that only 21 cars will start the Sunday sprint race in Barcelona, while the recovery timescale suggested by Gelael’s father suggests that DAMS might require a replacement driver for at least for the next race weekend in Spa.

 
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