Lando Norris suffered a horror crash in the early stages of the Las Vegas Grand Prix that could have been far worse.
Norris started 15th on the grid after McLaren struggled in qualifying and his race ended on just the fourth lap in a scary crash.
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Drivers had found Turn 12 particularly difficult all weekend on a new slippery track and Norris came unstuck in that exact spot, losing control of his McLaren and spinning backwards into the wall and down the escape route.
His front left tyre copped the brunt of the impact as sparks flew out from the car as it slid along the wall at serious speed.
Martin Brundle said in commentary on Sky Sports: “He lost the rear of the car early and so nearly took out his teammate.
“That accident started way up the track when the car snapped sideways. (He was a) total passenger in that.
“All he’s done is driven through the corner and started to apply the brakes.”
David Croft said: “He was heading to an accident there long before he came to a standstill.”
Former world champion Jenson Button said: “It just looks horrific because all the bits are being ripped off, which is what’s supposed to happen.
“It looked like he bottomed out. It was quite strange to lose the rear (tyre) there.”
Chilling on board footage shows Norris was seriously shaken up by the crash and took several moments before responds to his engineer who asked twice if he was OK.
McLaren CEO Zak Brown said: “It was a big hit. Just glad he’s OK.”
Norris was taken to a local hospital for precautionary checks but was later discharged and spotted walking around the paddock.
Max Verstappen recovered from a five-second time penalty to win a record-extending 18th race of the season and complete a clean sweep of the American races in a frenetic race.
In an entertaining battle for the lead, Verstappen got ahead of his teammate Sergio Perez before Charles Leclerc snatched second place from Perez on the very last lap.
Elsewhere at McLaren, Australian rookie Oscar Piastri started in 18th after a poor qualifying but drove an absolute blinder, flying around the Las Vegas strip.
With overtakes galore, Piastri was as high as third place but a skirmish with Lewis Hamilton and a mandatory pit stop to change tyres meant he had to settle for 10th place and the fastest lap of the race.
Daniel Ricciardo finished in 14th as his AlphaTauri struggled for pace.
The F1 season concludes at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix at midnight (AEDT) next Monday morning.