MONZA, Italy -- Sauber driver Marcus Ericsson walked away from a huge accident during second practice for the Italian Grand Prix at Monza.
The Swedish driver lost control of his car immediately after hitting the brakes at 220mph and smashed into the crash barrier lining the left side of the circuit on the run down to Turn 1.
The accident happened at the fastest section of the track -- which is also one of the fastest points on the F1 calendar -- making for dramatic pictures as the Sauber rolled three times before coming to a halt in the run-off at Turn 1.
Ericsson was able to climb out of the car unaided, but was taken directly to circuit's medical centre for precautionary checks. An initial FIA communication reported he was "OK" shortly after the accident.
Video replays showed that the DRS slot on the rear wing of the Sauber remained open and could have been a contributing factor to the accident. The DRS is designed to aid overtaking by opening a flap on the rear wing that reduces drag and increases top speed, but it also results in a significant loss in rear downforce.
A safeguard in the system is designed to close the DRS as soon as the driver hits the brakes, but on Ericsson's car it appeared to remain open. That may have resulted in a lack of rear stability as he hit the brakes and contributed to the accident.