Marcus Ericsson escaped unharmed from a massive accident at the start of the second practice session at the Italian Grand Prix that delayed running for 20 minutes.
On his first flying lap of the session, Ericsson hit the brakes for Turn 1 but his DRS didn’t close instantly, and the Sauber was pitched to the left and hit a barrier close to the side of the track. The Swede would have been traveling at around 220mph approaching the braking point for the first chicane, and was still moving at high speed after bouncing off the barrier.
After the initial impact the car dug into the grass running along the side of the track and was pitched into three rolls before flipping over sideways and then going end over end. The aerodynamic additions to the Halo were broken off as the car dug into the ground upside down at one stage, but the roll structures did their job and the tethers kept all four wheels attached to the car.
Ericsson took a moment to compose himself before climbing out of the car, whereupon he was given the all-clear after an evaluation at the medical center and returned to the Sauber garage to follow the rest of the session.
Ericsson took to social media to say he was okay.
“I’m all fine, thanks for all the messages,” he said. “It was a big one. It’s incredible the safety of the cars these days. It’s great that we have so much focus on the safety. I feel fine and hopefully tomorrow and hopefully tomorrow we should be back.”
Due to the large amount of debris thrown across the track and damage to the barrier, the session was delayed for 20 minutes to allow for repairs, with Sauber using the time to analyze Charles Leclerc’s DRS. Leclerc reported his DRS was also staying open and spent most of the first half of the session in the garage as a result.