Lando Norris feared he would land upside down after his first-lap collision at the Chinese Grand Prix.
The British teenager, 19, was sent airborne in his McLaren by the accident-prone Toro Rosso driver Daniil Kvyat after just six corners.
Kvyat first crashed into Carlos Sainz before tagging the rear wheel of Norris’s car.
The force of the impact sent the English driver, competing in just his third race, on two wheels.
“I thought I was going to go over,” said Norris. “I was a passenger, and not in control of anything.
“I had to wait and hope for the best. There was quite a bit of air time. I went flying for a bit.
“All I saw was blue sky until I landed again, and then my vision came back. I could think again and I realised what had just happened. I didn’t know when to breathe and I lost my breath for a bit.
“It was a shock, and I was winded initially. It wasn’t nice.”
Mercifully, Norris landed on all four wheels before stopping for repairs in his wounded McLaren.
He limped on, but was unable to make it to the chequered flag, retiring three laps from the end.
Russian Kvyat, back in the sport this season after he was dropped by Red Bull, was handed a drive-through penalty for his role in the incident.
“At the time, I didn’t know it was Kvyat who made contact with Carlos which then caused the contact into me,” added Norris.
“If the stewards thought it was his fault, I will back them with that. It took both me and Carlos out of contention and out of what might have been a double-points finish for the team.”