DETROIT — Felix Rosenqvist’s massive crash in turn six of the 14-turn, 2.35-mile street course on lap 25 stopped Saturday’s Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix at Belle Isle NTT IndyCar Series race.
It appeared a stuck throttle or brake failure was the cause of Rosenqvist’s No. 6 Arrow McLaren SP Honda hitting the tire barrier and fence at high speed, although that has not been confirmed by the team or IndyCar.
The sudden impact created rapid deceleration inside of the cockpit. It also severely damaged the fence and concrete barrier, causing the red flag to stop the race on lap 27.
The AMR Safety Team was diligent and methodical when they extracted the conscious 29-year-old driver from Sweden from the cockpit. Rosenqvist was put in a neck brace to stabilize his neck and placed in the ambulance on a backboard.
“Felix is doing fine, he is conscious and alert, was talking the whole time, has some soreness but no loss or sensation,” said IndyCar Medical Director Dr. Geoffrey Billows. “We are sending him downtown to the hospital for more medical evaluation and further advanced imaging.”
Rosenqvist was running in the top 10 at the time of the crash. When the race was halted, Scott Dixon was first followed by James Hinchcliffe, although both drivers had yet to make a pit stop. Santino Ferrucci was third followed by Alexander Rossi.
“That’s the first time I saw it and it’s crazy, that’s a big hit,” Rossi said during the stoppage. “It’s not good. We passed Pato O’Ward and this yellow really hurts. It will put us 15th or something after the pit stops.
“I’m going to try to get all of them. It’s the way the yellows work around here sometimes. We have to see how we get around and make the best of it.”
The red flag was lifted after one hour and 18 minutes. The race returned to yellow flag conditions and after the pits are opened for a few laps, racing will resume. It’s IndyCar’s intention to complete the full distance of the race. Currently, there are 42 laps remaining.