F1 driver miraculously walks away unhurt after car smashes into barrier and flips at 350km/h

Sauber driver Marcus Ericsson will try to qualify for the Italian Grand Prix less than 24 hours after walking away unscathed from a spectacular crash in practice today.

Ericsson lost control of his car at 350 km/h as he attempted to brake, and crashed into the barriers on the left of the track before rolling over four times in the air.

He got out of the car unaided. He then walked down pit lane and smiled to the cheering fans.

"I am all fine," Ericsson said in a video posted to social media. "It was a big one. The safety of the cars is incredible. Hopefully, tomorrow we should be back fighting and I look forward to that."

Ericsson was cleared by doctors to race for the remainder of the weekend.

"Marcus is OK," Sauber team principal Frederic Vasseur said. "We had a chat together after the session.

"He was disappointed to miss the rest of the practice session, and also a bit shocked, but the car will be ready to race."

Sauber later confirmed Ericsson's crash was caused by a mechanical failure after the Drag Reduction System on his rear wing did not close, which caused him to lose control.

The incident, which happened two minutes into the second practice, could have been worse if not for the halo protective device, which was introduced this season.

Drivers have had mixed reactions to the halo but last weekend's race in Belgium effectively ended the debate after Charles Leclerc — Ericsson's Sauber teammate — was unharmed after Fernando Alonso's Ferrari bounced on top of his car during a first-lap crash.


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Exclusive: Auckland edging closer to hosting Formula E championship - as early as next year

Formula E is the future of motor-racing and now it looks like Auckland could host a round of the championship from as early as next year.

As Formula E prepares for a fifth season, Kiwis should prepare for a chance to get a first-hand look at the technology that will power our future.

Kiwi driver Mitch Evans let the secret slip as his team unveiled their new car for this season.

"There could be some good news coming in the next few months," he said.

"Hopefully a race in NZ, in Auckland, my home city, in season six. That would be amazing."

1 NEWS understands local organisers have made great progress in the area after previously expressing interest in hosting a round and discussions with Formula E have been positive.

Auckland Council's events arm ATEED says they’re aware of the bid but have yet to receive a proposal.

Evans says it’s great just knowing there’s an effort being made.

"I know there's a big team working to try and make it happen and get it down to the City of Sails."

The event has been held on the inner city streets of Hong Kong, Paris and New York.

Although the ongoing city rail link development in Auckland creates a major problem, it's understood a central location has been identified that would cause minimal disruption to public streets.

Such a solution exists because Formula E circuits are usually only a couple of kilometres long.

Kiwi driver Mitch Evans said there could be some "good news" coming in the next few months. Source: 1 NEWS


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Four-time IndyCar champ in awe of former teammate Scott Dixon's dominance

One of Indycar's most successful drivers has described his former teammate Scott Dixon as "a chameleon" with "exceptional desire" after surpassing him for career driver's championship wins.

Dixon won his fifth IndyCar title on Monday to sit second only to American great AJ Foyt who won seven championships.

With the achievement, the 38-year-old Kiwi broke away from the four-time winners group of Dario Franchitti, Mario Andretti and Sebastien Bourdais.

Franchitti drove alongside Dixon before becoming an adviser to Chip Ganassi Racing - the team Dixon races for - and said the Kiwi's ability to adapt was phenomenal.

"He's like a chameleon. He adapts to different styles of cars and different styles of tyres," Franchitti told IndyCar.com.

"He learns from every teammate he's got. He uses every resource he can get, and he'll ask questions of them. You see the results.

"Talent only gets you so far. He's got lots of it, maybe more than I've ever raced against. That's saying a lot with some of the people I've raced against. He just keeps working at it. That desire is exceptional."

But Dixon said after yesterday's triumph it was more than just him.

"It’s all about the people, I’m the lucky one that gets to take it across the line," he said.

"I can’t thank my wife, Emma, enough, she’s been so amazing through the whole season, it’s actually the anniversary of her father’s passing today so it’s an emotional time."

The Kiwi driver notched up the milestone at Sonoma Raceway in California. Source: Seven Sharp


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'It's been a while!' Hayden Paddon claims seventh career podium finish at Rally Turkey

Kiwi rally driver Hayden Paddon has earned his first podium finish of the 2018 World Rally Championship season after a clean final day in Turkey.

Paddon and British co-driver Seb Marshall stuck to their game plan of racing a consistent race in the final four stages of Rally Turkey, allowing them to finish in third.

The pair went into the final day with a firm grip on third place - they were nearly a minute behind second-placed Jari-Matti Latvala but ahead of fourth-placed Teemu Suninen by a safe margin of over two minutes.

Paddon said racing with the concept of preserving third place instead of chasing those ahead of him felt like being in no man's land.

"It's a about playing the long game in this rally. When you're in 'no man's land' it can be really hard because you have to look after the car. It can be really painful but it's what you have to do."

The finish is Paddon's seventh on a WRC podium.

"I am really happy to take our first podium of the season. It has been a very tough rally. We have adopted a particular strategy this weekend that has required us to hold back and be patient," he said.

"Thankfully that approach has paid off and we have been rewarded with third place - it's been a while since we've been on the podium."

Paddon is coming to New Zealand for the Ashley Forest Rallysprint in Canterbury next weekend before he returns to Europe for the Wales Rally GB next month.


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Scott Dixon in rarefied air after winning fifth IndyCar title - 'I’m the lucky one'

Scott Dixon has won his fifth IndyCar championship with a second-place finish at Sonoma Raceway.

The Kiwi needed only a steady race to hold off challenger Alexander Rossi in the championship fight. Rossi broke his front wing on the opening lap when he ran into teammate Marco Andretti and it effectively ended his chances.

The Kiwi driver notched up the milestone at Sonoma Raceway in California. Source: Seven Sharp

Dixon from there didn't take any chances and coasted to the title. His five championships trail only the seven won by A.J. Foyt.

He was in disbelief at securing a historic fifth title.

“Man, this is so awesome, I can’t believe it, I can’t believe it’s actually happened,” he said.

“I don’t know, you always doubt these situations so much that it’s never going to happen.”

Dixon was also full of praise for his wife, Emma.

"It’s all about the people, I’m the lucky one that gets to take it across the line," he said.

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For more on this story, watch 1 NEWS at 6pm. Source: 1 NEWS

"I can’t thank my wife, Emma, enough, she’s been so amazing through the whole season, it’s actually the anniversary of her father’s passing today so it’s an emotional time."

Ryan Hunter-Reay won the race from the pole.