F2 drivers Nobuharu Matsushita and Nikita Mazepin escaped injury after an accident on the first lap of Sunday’s sprint race at the Russian GP.

The F2 championship tweeted that while both drivers had been taken to hospital for checks, “neither driver suffered fractures” in the incident at Turn Three.

Matsushita later posted on Twitter:

Hi guys, I am okay !! Thank you for kind messages, luckily I have no serious injuries after big hit..I鈥檒l have proper CT check again to make sure that all is fine. https://t.co/6qqa7wxgRK

— Nobu MAT | 鏉句笅淇℃不 (@Nobu_Mat13) September 29, 2019

As the race got underway, polesitter Mazepin and second-placed Jack Aitken both went into the run-off area at Turn Two, and then the two cars made contact once back on track. But while Aitken had come back onto the circuit the correct side of the bollards as required by the race director, Mazepin cut straight back across the run-off.

Mazepin’s ART car then went into oncoming Carlin of Matsushita, with the Japanese driver spinning into the barriers before the two cars made contact again.

Mazepin was handed a 15-place grid penalty for the season finale in Abu Dhabi at the end of November, with stewards ruling he ‘showed a total lack of due care for his fellow drivers and caused a bad incident, which could have been much worse’.

Both Nobuharu Matsushita and Nikita Mazepin are being transferred to hospital. Neither driver suffered fractures as a result of the Lap 1 incident pic.twitter.com/H7ZXfW3JeE

— Formula 2 (@FIA_F2) September 29, 2019

The race was red-flagged for more than three-quarters of an hour while medical and track-side teams attended to the accident, before resuming for a reduced sprint of 15 laps.

In a thrilling battle for victory over the shortened distance, Luca Ghiotto just held off five cars – new F2 champion Nyck de Vries, Callum Ilott, Sergio Sette Camara, Nicholas Latifi, and Guanyu Zhou – who were covered by 3.8 seconds at the finish.