The final practice session 3 at the Russian Grand Prix had to be stopped just after the drivers had covered a little more than half the distance as Torro Rosso driver Carlos Sainz suffered a massive crash in Sochi.

The 21-year-old Spaniard, who made his F1 debut at the Australian Grand Prix this year, fortunately did not suffer any serious injury; he was soon airlifted to the hospital after suffering the crash at the Turn 13.

Sainz remained conscious even as he gave a thumbs up to TV cameras and spectators while he was being taken to the ambulance on a stretcher. 

The young driver lost control on the fastest part of the Sochi Autodrom during braking at the Turn 13 and skidded down a wall and thumped straight into a barrier before his car got decimated.

Following the crash, his car remained buried deep in the barriers, until the marshals and medical personnel managed to pull him out of his car.

Watch the horrific crash:

A Red Flag was immediately signalled and it was confirmed that the third practice session would not resume. Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg ended the abrupt session fastest -- 0.726 seconds quicker than Williams's Valtteri Bottas. Lewis Hamilton came third.

Toro Rosso team principal Franz Tost said: "He is conscious and with the doctors. We don't know what his conditions are but so far it seems he is OK.

"It seems the car got lost under braking and we must find out why."