With every action there is a reaction. When Mark Webber launched his Red Bull over the back of Heike Kovalainen’s Caterham in Valencia, the calls for lower noses were loud and numerous. Understandably, the concern was ‘what would have happened if it had launched into the crowd?’. The following season the noses were duly lowered, only for the Martin Brundle to ask ‘what will happen to the driver of a car “sub-marines” into the car ahead?’. Young Billy Monger was the first to find out, with catastrophic consequences. Losing both of his legs at the knee, the 18 year old Brit showed immense fortitude to overcome these life-changing injuries. Immediate changes were also made to the rear crash-structure of F1 cars in time for the next race at Monaco.
What happened since has been a Billy Monger lesson in ‘what to do when life deals you lemons’. Helping instigate FIA rule changes, banning those with disabilities from racing single-seaters, he duly stepped back into single seaters. A year after his crash, Monger competed in British Formula 3 and took 2 poles, 3 fastest laps, and 4 podiums. Not a bad haul for a guy who wasn’t even allowed to be racing!
Roll on to 2019 and Monger is competing for Carlin in Euroformula Open, and this is where the really inspirational stuff starts to happen. In only the second race of the season, at a rain-soaked Pau and with broken steering, Monger took his first win and added fastest lap to cement his status as a driver to watch. Not only that, but he’s inspired us to add Pau to our calendar to 2020. With any luck we’ll be seeing him there in F3.