Sophia Flörsch has admitted she was initially unaware that others had been injured in her terrifying high speed crash at the Macau Grand Prix.
Flörsch was launched backwards through the catch fencing at the end of the long flat out section at the start of the lap in Macau, clearing the fencing and colliding with a photographers bunker before coming to ground outside the racing circuit.
Five people, including two photographers and a marshal, were taken to hospital though none with life threatening injuries.
“At first, I didn’t know that other people had been injured in the crash,” Flörsch told German publication motorsport-magazin.com.
“I found that out later in the evening when my dad told me that everyone else involved had survived. I burst into tears.
“I think that would have been the worst thing for me if something very bad had happened to other people because of the accident.”
Given her phone in hospital, the 18-year-old was surprised to be inundated with messages and the subsequent media coverage.
“The accident was at 15:30 local time, and they handed me my mobile phone at 20:30 that evening,”
“I had hundreds of messages on WhatsApp and suddenly 155,000 followers instead of 38,000 on Instagram.
“My experience of the accident was quite different.
“I had no idea at the time that it looked so bad and would feature so prominently in the news.
“I didn’t know what to make of the whole situation, because I hadn’t seen the accident.
“I also didn’t understand why even the teachers at my school were writing to me. I thought: ‘How do they know about the accident?’.
“I still haven’t read all the reports from around the world because there were just so many of them.
“I only realised on the Friday, Saturday, Sunday after the operation that famous racing drivers such as Fernando Alonso had also written to me.”
Despite suffering spinal injuries, the German is confident she will be fit again in time for the opening round.
“There were, of course, questions about whether I would carry on and what my long-term plans would look like,” she explained.
“I have always been very frank about my desire to continue and that I’m not going to let an accident get me down.
“Most people I speak to understand that. I mean, I’ve been in this sport for the past 13 years, it’s my life, and I want to get into F1.
“Giving up that dream because of an accident like this just doesn’t make sense to me.
“I’ve put the accident behind me, because I’m just so happy that I can move all my limbs and start convalescence so soon,” she continued.
“The doctors say that I had millions of guardian angels that day.
“They are very upbeat about me being fit enough towards the end of February or early March to get back in a racing car again.”
Round 1 of Formula European Masters takes place at Hockenheim on May 3-5.