A heavy accident for Loic Duval at the Porsche Curves in the No. 1 Audi R18 e-tron quattro has put the Le Mans Free Practice session under a red flag, both to remove the car and repair the barriers.
Duval’s car sustained substantial damage in the accident, which thus far has not been shown on replay.
The car is being loaded onto a flatbed to be transported away from the scene.
In an interview with Radio Le Mans, Audi’s Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich reported Duval awake and alert.
Here’s a tweet from Audi Sport:
Official statement from the ACO:
At 17h05, today Wednesday 11 June, the No.1 Audi left the track at very high speed at the Porsche Curves, at Marshals Post No.131. The incident occurred during the free practice session for the 82nd edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Conscious, the driver was taken into the care of the ACO’s Medical Services, extracted from the car to an ambulance and then immediately transported to the Le Mans’s Centre Hospitalier where he will undergo further examination.
His condition is encouraging.
The tests recommenced at 17h55.
Lewis Hamilton believes that this weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix will be remembered as the last race with good-looking Formula 1 cars ahead of the introduction of the ‘Halo’ cockpit protection for next year.
Officials from the FIA and F1 Strategy Group confirmed earlier this year that the Halo would be fitted to all cars from the 2018 season in a bid to improve safety standards, with the deaths of Justin Wilson and Jules Bianchi putting head protection high on the agenda for the series’ chiefs.
Hamilton has long made his opposition to the Halo clear, believing it will ruin the look of F1 cars, and echoed his thoughts ahead of the final Halo-less race in Abu Dhabi this weekend.
“It’s the last year of looking good I think in the cars. It’s the last race where the cars will look good,” Hamilton said.
“I think next year, it’s all downhill from there in terms of how they look.
“But safety will go up at least, and maybe it could be successful in some way.”
Hamilton’s F1 title rival Sebastian Vettel was less bothered about the change, believing the field will adjust and move on.
“The cars will look different next year. Everything I’ve seen so far looks different, but on the other hand it is something we all get used to,” Vettel said.
“But no doubt the cars look better now, but we’ll get used to it, and we’ll work on the aesthetics so it can be better. It is less of a big deal.”
Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo shared Vettel’s view, saying: “I don’t think it’s gonna be as dramatic as most people make it out to be.”