Williams Formula 1 reserve driver Jack Aitken has suffered collarbone and vertebra fractures in a terrifying Spa 24 Hours crash, but feels “quite lucky” to have escaped worse consequences.
Aitken, who stood in for a Mercedes-drafted George Russell in F1’s Sakhir GP last year, was contesting his first Spa 24 Hours in an Emil Frey Lamborghini when he was involved in a multi-car accident at the top of Raidillon.
He was taken to the hospital along with fellow accident participant and sometime Ferrari F1 tester Davide Rigon.
Rigon was reported to have avoided major injuries and has since left hospital, but Aitken was diagnosed with “a broken collarbone, a fractured vertebra (which is stable), and a very small lung contusion”.
First of all, thank you to everyone who has supported me in the last 16 hours or so, from the marshalls, medical staff trackside and at the hospital, my wonderful team, fellow drivers and all of you sending messages. All things considered I feel fine, and quite lucky. pic.twitter.com/BvTpwrHzI6
— Jack Aitken – 한세용 (@JaitkenRacer) August 1, 2021
“First of all, thank you to everyone who has supported me over the last several hours, from the marshals, medical staff trackside and at the hospital, my wonderful team, fellow drivers and all of you sending messages,” Aitken said in the press release.
“All things considered I feel fine, and quite lucky. I’m also sorry for my team-mates [Arthur Rougier and Konsta Lappalainen] that we didn’t get to compete, and for the other cars involved.
“The aim now is to get back to the UK and start to recover as best as possible and be back in the car soon. I’m sure with the people around me I’ll manage it just fine!”
There is no firm recovery time yet for Aitken (pictured above making his F1 debut), but it is thought that it may take around a month.
Aitken’s accident prompted a strong reaction from his long-time junior single-seater peer and rival Callum Ilott, the Ferrari F1 tester writing: “I would also like to say that there needs to be a change at this corner and I’m very surprised nothing has changed yet. Enough is enough.”
I would also like to say that there needs to be a change at this corner and I’m very surprised nothing has changed yet. Enough is enough. https://t.co/TiHw5yZhu1
— Callum Ilott (@callum_ilott) July 31, 2021