Henry Surtees, son of 1964 Formula One champion John Surtees, died Sunday after being hit in the head by a bouncing wheel and tire during an F2 race. Even after watching the video, it seems too outrageous to believe.
With the cars going at approximately 140 mph, driver Jack Clarke spun into the wall and his tire flew off. Surtees was knocked unconscious by the severe blow, causing his car to crash into a barrier at the Brands Hatch circuit in Kent, south of London. The race was red-flagged while Surtees was removed from the scene. He was then airlifted to Royal London hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.
Formula Two chief executive Jonathan Palmer expressed his "great sadness" after hearing of the news. "An accident like this obviously raises high levels of concern," he said.
As James Broomhead points out at Bleacher Report, this is the second time that an errant tire has been a major hazard. The first incident also involved Clarke and Surtees at an earlier event.
There are sure to be questions in the aftermath of this tragedy, especially considering the Formula Two feeder series is in its inaugural season. If the series is to have a long-term future, you can bet they'll need to investigate better wheel tethering and what exactly went wrong here.