Formula 1 stars have donated tens of thousands of pounds to a 17-year-old racing driver who had his lower legs amputated at Nottingham’s Queen’s Medical Centre following a serious crash.
Billy Monger, from Surrey, crashed into another car which had broken down on the track at racing speed at Donington Park on Sunday (April 16) during a British Formula 4 race.
A spokesman for Formula 4 said Billy is still in a critical but stable condition at the Queen’s Medical Centre, and confirmed both of his lower legs have been amputated.
He has been kept in an induced coma and is expected to be woken in the next few days.
His racing team JHR Developments set up a Just Giving page to support Billy with more than 11,000 people supporting the cause in just over 24 hours.
Current teenage F1 star Max Verstappen and former world champion Jenson Button, who will race at the Monaco Grand Prix next month, have each donated £15,000.
Button also gave a message of support on the page which read: “Embrace the love from your family and friends during this tough time in your life and get well soon buddy.”
Max Verstappen added: “My thoughts go out to you and your loved ones – stay strong Billy!”
Lewis Hamilton has also Tweeted his support for the teenager.
The current total for the amount raised stands at more than £485,000 as of Thursday lunchtime (April 20), nearly double the amount that JHR targeted.
On the Just Giving page, a statement from Billy’s family said: “Well known in motorsport for being not only an extremely talented young driver but for also being a truly special 17-year-old.
“He is loved and admired by his team, fellow competitors, supporters and of course his devoted family.
“Billy is a complete one off, a cracking young man with a spark that makes it impossible for anyone not to like him.
“Full of spirit, Billy is one of those people that instantly lights up a room; his positive, plucky outlook on life is not only hugely endearing but also incredibly inspirational and it’s phenomenal to see how respected and loved Billy is.
“Having always been a fighter, Billy has already overcome big hurdles in his career – struggling for budget, Billy has fought his way into top flight Motorsport.”
The full statement from a spokesman at British Formula 4 said: “Billy Monger is in a critical, but stable condition at Queen’s Medical Centre in Nottingham where he is receiving the best medical attention possible.
“The medical team there are pleased that all Billy’s vital signs are showing progress and going in the right direction.
“Due to the injuries sustained and despite every effort, Billy has sadly had both lower legs amputated.
“He has been kept in an induced coma while undergoing surgery, from which he is expected to be woken in the next few days.
“Billy’s family would like to express their gratitude for the first-class medical attention given by Queen’s Medical Centre in Nottingham and take this opportunity to thank the medical teams, marshals, extrication crews and air ambulance staff for their skilled response and hard work.
“Furthermore, they would like to thank Billy’s colleagues, friends, fans and everyone who has demonstrated their affection for him over the past few days.
“These messages help give the great strength needed for the recovery process that lies ahead.”