JEDDAH, Dec 6 — Enzo Fittipaldi, grandson of former Formula One world champion Emerson Fittipaldi, was airlifted to hospital after a serious crash at the start of the Formula 2 race in Jeddah, the FIA said on Sunday.

French driver Theo Pourchaire, 18, who was also taken to hospital, was involved in the accident which happened when his ART car stalled on the grid. 

Brazilian Fittipaldi, 20, then hit him hard from behind. 

“The drivers were immediately attended to by emergency and medical crews,” Formula 2 said in a statement. 

“The drivers were conscious and extricated by the attending medical crews. Both have been transferred by ambulance and helicopter to King Fahad Armed Forces Hospital, Jeddah.”

However initial reports on the drivers’ condition were reassuring with Fittipaldi said to have broken an ankle, according to Brazilian television.

“Theo is fine, he has no fracture,” Alfa Romeo F1 boss Frederic Vasseur told an AFP journalist at the starting grid for the Formula One Grand Prix.

The Formula 2 race was swiftly red-flagged with the rest of the field returning to the pits.

It restarted 40 minutes later before another accident and red flag brought it to a premature end.

Born in July 2001 in Miami, Enzo Fittipaldi graduated from karting through the levels to Formula 3 with Charouz Racing in 2021.

In September, he stepped up to Formula 2 for the second part of the season, making his debut for Czech team Charouz at Monza. 

He finished seventh on Saturday in Race 2 in Jeddah, scoring his first points in F2. 

He was a member of the Ferrari driver academy from 2017 to 2020.

His grandfather Emerson won two F1 world championships with Lotus in 1972 when he was just 25, the youngest champion up to then, and two years later with McLaren. 

Enzo’s older brother Pietro, 25, made his Formula One debut with Haas at the 2020 Sakhir Grand Prix, replacing the injured  Romain Grosjean. — AFP