Van Amersfoort recovering stolen parts from Florsch Macau GP crash
|By Marcus Simmons||Thursday, December 13th 2018, 10:10 GMT|
Veteran Formula 3 team Van Amersfoort Racing is waiting for stolen parts from Sophia Florsch's Macau Grand Prix wreck to arrive back at the squad's Dutch base.
Team boss Frits van Amersfoort told Autosport that the parts - the front wing and engine air restrictor - were removed from the scene by thieves following the 18-year-old German's horrific crash, and discovered for sale on auction website eBay.
"We have a friend out there who told us about it," said van Amersfoort.
"I said, 'Bloody hell - the front wing survived!', and then we notified the police and they retrieved the parts for us.
"Those are a few days that I will never forget."
Florsch, who is continuing her recovery, has confirmed that she will compete in the DTM-supporting Formula European Masters next season with VAR.
VAR is one of the teams continuing with the old-spec F3 cars in the new Masters series, which effectively keeps the F3 European Championship going under a new name.
"I am convinced that Formula European Masters is the perfect race series for me," said Florsch.
"The car is fantastic, and it offers young drivers the opportunity to learn a lot.
"I love to keep on competing for VAR as I feel really comfortable in the team.
"It certainly wasn't easy at the beginning as I had absolutely no F3 experience, but they taught me a lot and now I want to celebrate successes with them."
Regarding the Macau crash, in which she sustained a spinal fracture, Florsch added: "When I watched the video of my accident for the first time it felt somewhat surreal.
"I know that I was lucky and am thankful that the Dallara is such a safe car.
"I may already begin with gentle training and hope that I will be able to get into the cockpit in spring."
Van Amersfoort added: "She's recovering quite well and she's in very good spirits - hopefully she can start some gentle running on the simulator next month."
VAR is also pushing FEM organisers to drop the traditional F3 test ban, which kicks in just before Christmas and runs until mid-February, in order to attract participants to the series.
"It makes a lot of sense to me, and it would help new teams come in and prepare," van Amersfoort told Autosport.
"It's my idea and I'm talking to the organisers about it - we're in a survival game at the moment, but what has changed?
"The only thing that has changed is that the FIA came in and gave our [F3] name to another category [the GP3-replacing FIA F3 Championship]."
VAR is testing this week at Barcelona with Dane Frederik Vesti, its German Formula 4 graduate who contested the Euro F3 finale and the Macau Grand Prix, as well as fellow German F4 ace Andreas Estner and some-time Euro F3 competitor Petru Florescu.
The squad's Mercedes-powered Dallaras will hit the track at Valencia next week with VAR's 2018 German F4 runner-up Liam Lawson and Euroformula Open racer Lukas Dunner.