Christian Mansell has hailed the safety of Euroformula’s Dallara 320 car after emerging unscathed from a violent accident at Monza last weekend.
The CryptoTower Racing Team driver flipped at the Ascari chicane and skated upside down across the track after the right-rear wheel of his spinning car dug into the gravel and launched him skyward following contact with Francesco Simonazzi in race two.
Mansell called it a “heavy impact” and “head-rattling experience”, but couldn’t wait to return to action. Although he was able to enter race three in a repaired car, he spent it primarily in the pits as repairs continued.
“Not great,” Mansell joked when Formula Scout asked how the spectacular-looking incident felt.
“Don’t recommend being upside down and sliding across a race track, it’s not really what I had in mind finishing my race two. Sometimes shit happens, unfortunately. Me and Francesco had a bit of a conversation afterwards, it is what it is.
“I was fortunate that I actually closed my eyes for most of the experience. But once I was sliding I opened my eyes and [everything was upside down], not great.
“I saw the sparks flying from the halo, and I was like ‘I’m on fire!’. So I was starting to have a bit of a freak-out moment, and then I was like ‘hang on, nope, they’re sparks from the halo, I’m all good’.
“I put out an Instagram story promoting the halo and how important it is, because to be honest, if it wasn’t there I couldn’t tell you what kind of a way I would be in. What would have I slid on?
“[The halo] is an absolutely essential part of a race car, as far as protection and driver safety goes. A lot of people in the beginning snobbed it off, and it’s crazy to still think that there are some people who still don’t like it.”
Expanding on how the accident occurred, Mansell said: “I’d already been propped up a little by Francesco on the initial contact of his front to my rear, like I’d already been chipped up.
“Then because of that I dug in [to the gravel] and I thought, usually when that happens you roll, but because it was only the rear wheel, it was up and over. I felt like I went so high.
“Some people say when they have shunts ‘it felt really high, but on camera it looks a little bit tamer’. No, it looked big and it felt big. But surprisingly enough, I feel fine. Car a bit bashed up.
“Big, big thank you to Dallara, and also Euroformula, and the marshals here to help me out of the situation. Because without them, you’d be stuffed. All of the impact structures were still completely intact, which was amazing to see. The roll hoop was a little bit scratched, but still there. The halo, just a scratch.
“I’ll get back in the car, and probably completely forget what happened. Because that’s just what racing drivers do.”