Formula Renault: Dean Stoneman walks away from 142mph 'fireball'

'I was lucky to walk away' - Dean Stoneman

Racing driver Dean Stoneman says he was happy to walk away from a spectacular 142mph crash and subsequent fireball.

The Formula Renault 3.5 driver suffered the crash during testing in Spain ahead of the new season.

"At the time I wasn't aware the fireball had occurred," the Southampton-based former Formula 2 champion, 24, told BBC Radio Solent.

"After the accident my main concern was to get out of the car. It was very painful. I was winded."

He added: "It's one of those things that happen in motorsport and I was happy to be able to walk away from it. I've been through a lot worse."

In the 2008 Formula Renault UK series, Stoneman finished with a better record than Lewis Hamilton managed in his debut year in the competition.

Two years later he won the F2 title and secured a test with Formula 1 team Williams as a result.

But he had to stop racing for two years after being diagnosed with testicular cancer, surviving despite it spreading to his liver and lungs, and returned to competitive racing in 2013.

Stoneman then finished runner-up in last year's GP3 Series to secure a move to Red Bull's junior programme with the new season starting in April.

"I was very sore, after the crash. The side effects are very painful," he admitted.

"I would not like to do that again. It was a mistake, a gust of wind and it all went wrong and now I am suffering the consequences.

"I was in a race run and for some reason on that lap it went wrong, I got a slide on, corrected the slide but the gust of wind helped it around."

The British driver returned to the track the following day on Friday after his team worked through the night to put the car back together again.

"It won't affect my confidence," he added. "I'll just be wary of that corner. It was just one of those days, you have good days and bad days."

Dean Stoneman
Stoneman says he was unaware of the fireball at the time
Dean Stoneman
His car was wrecked with 200 pieces strewn across the track
Dean Stoneman walks away from 142mph crash
Stoneman walks away from crash

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