Inspirational. It is a word that has been used a lot in connection with Billy Monger - and rightly so. But it is something that Monger himself struggles to see himself as.
"Everyone keeps saying that word to me, that I'm an inspiration, but it's difficult to get my head around," he says. "Going from a 17-year-old kid just doing normal things and going racing at weekends, in a space of less than a year so much has changed."
He is, of course, referring to the horrific crash at Donington Park last April that changed his life forever. There was nothing particularly out of the ordinary for the third British Formula 4 race of the Donington weekend - apart from the sight of championship leader Jamie Caroline at the rear of the field, perhaps. There was certainly no suggestion that the worst single-seater crash in Britain for many years was about to occur.
It was lap four. Monger was towards the back of the pack but was only just behind the gaggle of five cars in front. Coming through the fast left-hander at Schwantz Curve, the pack came across the stationary Carlin car of Patrik Pasma on the racing line after a spin. The cars in front of Monger all jinked out of the way at the last minute but Monger was completely unsighted and ploughed into the rear of Pasma. There was nothing he could have done to avoid the Finn.
"I was awake after the crash for about 45 minutes and was seeing all the doctors," recalls Monger. "Pretty much straightaway I knew the crash was bad, but the first few minutes I felt OK because the adrenaline kicked in."
While Pasma was taken to hospital for precautionary checks (he was later released without any serious injuries), it took medics nearly two hours to extract Monger from his car. After he was airlifted to hospital, doctors had no choice but to amputate both of his legs - one above and one below the knee.
"Because I was in the car and awake, I knew that it was bad so I knew there was damage done but I didn't know I was going to lose both my legs - that was a shock," admits Monger.
For Monger's JHR Developments team boss Steve Hunter, it was a nightmare scenario. "Sheer devastation" is how Hunter recalls that time. Monger was in his third season with JHR after progressing with the team out of Ginetta Junior and into F4. He was a regular frontrunner in the Ginetta category and came agonisingly close to his maiden single-seater win at Rockingham in 2016 when a technical issue on the final lap cost him dear.
Hunter had taken Monger "under my wing" in those seasons and was already good friends with him. "It questions your conviction in motorsport," Hunter says of his thoughts after the crash.
"I've just been amazed that somebody can be as positive with what must be an exceptionally traumatic situation to be in" Monger's F4 team boss Steve Hunter
But Monger made progress remarkably quickly and his attention immediately turned to making a race return.
"My team was there and I was just asking them, 'Do you think it's doable?'" says Monger. "They were all supportive."
Hunter, who stayed at Monger's side in hospital, along with his family and number one mechanic, was in no doubt that he wanted to return. "There was certainly no question about that," says Hunter. "I never saw a negative at any point, which amazes me that someone can be so resilient in that situation. The way he looked at it was straightforward - 'Can I get back in a race car? Yes, so let's carry on doing what we were doing'.
"I've just been amazed that somebody can be as positive with what must be an exceptionally traumatic situation to be in. I don't think anyone else would have reacted in that way. I know it's a bit of a cliche that he is an inspiration, but he genuinely is."
It was at this point that Monger began to realise just how much his story had touched the nation - and not just the motorsport community. The crash was headline TV news and a JustGiving page set up by Hunter and former JHR racer and British Touring Car star Tom Ingram raised over £750,000 to help support Monger's recovery in just a matter of days. There was an outpouring of emotion, from Formula 1 champion Lewis Hamilton to young fans donating their pocket money to help.
"The support was a bit overwhelming - it was awesome," says Monger. "I didn't imagine I would get that kind of support."
That support was evident at the next F4 round at Thruxton. While Monger had only just been released from hospital and couldn't be there himself, a walk of the Hampshire track was attended by thousands and raised over £7000. And to cap it off, Monger's close friend Caroline made British F4 history by winning all three races and dedicated his triumphs to Monger.
Monger was then able to attend the following round at Oulton Park. "The first thing he wanted to do at Oulton was the data with Manuel [Sulaiman, JHR's other British F4 driver]!" says Hunter. "And it was the same with Harry [Dyson] when he joined [the F4 team later in the year]."
But already Monger was preparing for his racing comeback and his first task was regaining his race licence. His first run back in a car came at Brands Hatch in July in Fun Cup machinery with the Team BRIT squad - the team that helps injured servicemen, and now civilians as well, to race.
"Eleven weeks after the crash was my first time in the Fun Cup car and that really helped," says Monger. "It was a big step forward for me as: one, that I could get my licence back; and two, that I was competitive really early on that first day. It was good for me to see and show I hadn't lost my passion."
At Le Mans this year, Monger was announced as the first driver as part of quadruple amputee Frederic Sausset's academy for disabled drivers that would work towards a 24 Hours outing. But the thought of returning to single-seaters was still in his mind.
"The plan initially was we thought we should maybe make the transition like Alex Zanardi did [the Italian moved away from single-seaters into touring cars after losing both of his legs in a 2001 Champ Car crash at the Lausitzring]," Monger explains. "That was our initial thought, but I asked the question, 'Has anyone raced a single-seater before like me?' I don't think anyone has raced a single-seater after a crash like mine."
"I'm hoping to have my first [single-seater] test in January and, after that, see how it goes. I've got a series in mind and I'm working with a team" Monger on his 2018 plans
There was a major barrier to Monger achieving this, and it wasn't just whether he was physically able to race a single-seater. The FIA had a rule in place preventing disabled drivers from competing in international single-seater categories. Upon hearing this, Monger decided to fight to get it changed.
"If I could change this one rule then maybe it was possible [to make a single-seater comeback]," he says. And with the support of the Motor Sports Association, he was able to do just that.
"I got the confirmation last month and that was really good to get that sorted quite early on as well," says Monger. "Changing any rule of any form of sport takes time so we were hoping that it would be ready for the start of this year. It was a real boost. I'm hoping to have my first test in January and, after that, see how it goes. I've got a series in mind and I'm working with a team."
So far, Monger has completed extensive runs in a simulator to prepare for his comeback, and he aims to get out in the car before committing to a series just to make sure he would be competitive. And if that racing return means he heads back to the scene of the accident at Donington Park, he doesn't view that as a problem.
"I don't see Donington Park as being my enemy," Monger states. "The track had nothing to do with it, it was just unfortunate that it was on that track. It could've happened anywhere, on any corner."
The fact that Monger has even got to this point is a real testament to his character and determination. "He certainly is a character that lifts people around him and not only himself," says Hunter. "My thoughts of what we would do as a team certainly changed as Billy improved."
One shining example of that determination came at Brands Hatch earlier this year when Monger completed a walk of the pitlane - using prosthetic limbs - for charity. Learning to walk again is just one of the challenges he has faced since his accident.
"I'm still learning - it's a long process with what happened to me," says Monger. "I'm learning something new every day."
He reflects, unsurprisingly, that 2017 has been a "strange" year. "It's difficult to sum up a year like this," he says. "The first round-and-a-half was good and it was looking promising for at least a top three in the championship - it might've been higher but you never know. But then it all got spun on its head and it was all about recovery.
"In April I was just a 17-year-old trying to make a career out of motorsport. I feel I haven't really done much, but people have a view of me as an inspiration and it's really nice to have their support. I've had a lot of messages from people saying I've inspired their kids - being able to have an impact on someone else's life is pretty weird."
That is typical of Monger's modesty. He may feel he has not done much since his crash but others certainly do not feel the same way. He has picked up a number of prestigious gongs in recent weeks, including the President's Award at the FIA's Prize Giving Ceremony and being nominated for the Laureus World Sports Best Sporting Moment Award. Hunter says it is right that Monger is getting recognised: "The accolades he's getting at present couldn't be given to someone more deserving."
Monger is quick to acknowledge that his accident has opened up new opportunities for him and massively raised his profile. But he is well aware that attention has some downsides, too.
"The negative of it would be it adds pressure as everyone knows who you are," he explains. "But I view it as good pressure because everyone wants me to do well. At the end of the day, they are more concerned that I'm enjoying what I do."
There will be no shortage of fans wishing him well for 2018. The way he has become a household name - and not just for the crash itself, but for the way this down-to-earth and incredibly likeable guy has responded to it - has made sure of that.
And Hunter is certain that his protege can still have a successful racing career. "His way of being is rubbing off on people around him all the time," he says. "He is destined for some great things."
Returning to the cockpit of a single-seater this year will tick off an incredible early achievement.