De Jong has back surgery following feature race crash

by Paul Hensby

Daniel de Jong suffered a fractured vertebra in his high-speed crash at Blanchimont during the GP2 Series Feature race at Spa-Francorchamps on Saturday.

The MP Motorsport driver was pitched into the barriers at Blanchimont after a clash with DAMS driver Pierre Gasly, with the race nullified while marshals and the medical team carefully extracted the Dutchman from his car.

He was then transferred to hospital, conscious and apparently in good spirits, with doctors then determining that his sixth vertebrae was fractured and required immediate attention, with the Dutchman enduring a successful four-hour surgery last night.

The GP2 Series issued a statement from de Jong’s family, saying: “We would like to thank the medical team that treated him with success and would also like to thank their colleagues, the GP2 drivers and teams and the series organisers for their support.”

Gasly was penalised for the incident with a ten-second time penalty added to his race time, and coupled with a further thirty-second penalty for failing to slow down sufficiently behind the safety car, the Frenchman was ulimtately classified nineteenth.

Marlon Stockinger, Richie Stanaway, Sean Gelael and Nick Yelloly were also handed the same thirty-second penalty for failing to adhere to the safety car regulations.

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