Aspiring American racer Conor Daly – son of former Grand Prix racer Derek Daly – was involved in a terrifying collision in yesterday’s GP3 race at Monaco, in an accident that bore striking resemblance to the famous airborne collision between Mark Webber and Heikki Kovalainen at the 2010 European Grand Prix.
Daly, who started from a lowly 23rd place in his ART-run Lotus entry, had charged up to twelfth place on the eleventh lap when he made contact with the Marussia GP3 entry being driver by Russian racer Dmitry Suranovich, who was repeatedly ignoring the black-and-orange flags being waved to him for competing minus his rear wing, which had been knocked off in an earlier contact.
After being blocked by the Russian through the Mirabeau hairpin and into Portier, Daly got a run on Suranovich through the tunnel and attempted to overtake him under braking for the Nouvelle Chicane:
Suranovich moved in different directions to defend his position, and Daly could do nothing but be launched into the air, flying into the catch fencing and fortunately landing right way up down the run-off area.
Thankfully, neither Daly nor any of the nearby marshals was hurt. Those of you who remember Jeff Krosnoff’s fatal accident at the 1996 CART race at Toronto will know the potential consequences of a car being launched into the catch fencing…
“[The] car was mega and I was having so much fun,” a magnanimous Daly wrote on his Twitter feed. “But can’t help it when other people do stupid stuff.
“Thank you GP3 for having a safe car. That was definitely the biggest crash I’ve ever had.”
The FIA Stewards took the only sensible option of disqualifying Suranovich from the event, although it was still a slap on the wrist for some of the most stupid and reckless driving witnessed on the race track in a while.