Ed Jones is set to return to his Carlin team in the FIA European Formula 3 Championship next weekend at the Red Bull Ring in Austria as his recovery from the back injury caused in a big crash at Pau in France earlier this season speeds up.
The United Arab Emirates-based Anglo-Emirati driver suffered a fractured vertebra in a violent looking crash during qualifying in Pau, and although he continued racing that weekend, he was advised post-race to step out of the car to enable his back to heal sufficiently.
The nineteen-year-old from Dubai, who is the current European F3 Open champion, has missed the rounds at the Hungaroring in Hungary, Spa Francorchamps, the Norisring in Germany and Moscow Raceway in Russia. He currently sits thirteenth in the championship, and took two podium finishes in Hockenheim in May, with a best of second in race one.
Jones is using this weekend’s British Formula 3 Championship round at Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium to assess the back, and was fastest in the first free-practice session, edging out his Carlin stable mate Sean Galael by just under a tenth of a second.
“My back still hurts in heavy-breaking zones, where it puts pressure on it,” said Jones, “but it’s better than I expected. I just came back here to see that everything’s OK.”