07/21/2014 04:07 pm ET Updated Jul 21, 2014

Terrifying Photo Beautifully Illustrates Why Grand Prix Drivers Wear Helmets

There's a reason drivers in the German Grand Prix wear helmets, and this striking photo sums it up better than any words possibly could.

The photo, captured Sunday by Associated Press photographer Petr David Josek, permanently fixes in time the moment after a car flipped over, yet before the car came fully back to the ground. Brazilian driver Felipe Massa can be seen hanging helplessly inverted, a fraction of a second before returning to Earth -- head first.

petr david josek

Amazingly, the BBC reports Massa was unhurt in the crash. "The accident was more scary watching than being inside," he told reporters afterward. "I saw everything the other way around."

Here's a Vine of the split-second crash, via Metro:


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