Macau GP layout backed in wake of girl's smash

Sports | 23 Nov 2018

The Macau Grand Prix's narrow Guia street circuit cannot be faulted after a German teenage driver's spectacular crash, her team boss says after the incident raised concerns about safety standards.

Sophia Florsch's Formula 3 car catapulted over safety barriers, which left the 17-year-old German with a spine fracture and injured four others.

But her team principal, Frits van Amersfoort, refuses to blame the Macau layout, saying "everyone knows the dangers" of the circuit, "but most drivers also say Macau is the most beautiful track in the world."

The 6.2-kilometer circuit features long straights with speeds of about 275kph coupled with tight, blind corners. Three racers have died there in recent years: motorcyclists Daniel Hegarty and Luis Carreira and driver Phillip Yau.

Charlie Whiting, race director for the International Motoring Federation, which is investigating the crash, also defended Macau.

"In common with all street circuits the incident rate is higher than a normal circuit," he said, "but there is no evidence the circuit is dangerous."

While there are few safety exits, Whiting added, "when cars do hit the walls it is generally at a very low angle, which imparts lower forces into the car and driver."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

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