David Saelens will not take up his eighth place on the grid for the latest round of the FIA F3000 Championship following an accident in second qualifying on Friday.

The Belgian ran off the road at Becketts during the final practice session for the F1 support race, but a routine trip across the grass took on more serious implications as his European Minardi car then bounced heavily across the gravel trap.

Complaining of back pains, Saelens was carefully extracted from the car and transferred to the circuit medical centre. After examination by F1 doctor Prof Sid Watkins, it was deemed that he had jarred his spine and bruised his wrist in the impact, and he was transferred from the medical centre to Northampton General Hospital for more detailed checks.

Saelens remained under observation overnight, and is likely to be released today [Saturday]. He is then expected to return home for a period of rest before returning, fully fit, to his duties with both the European F3000 team and his DTM commitments with the Rosberg operation.