Burti OK after a big shunt at Belgian GP

Motorsport.com - Luciano Burti appears to not have suffered any serious injuries in his high-speed crash on the fourth lap of the Belgian Grand Prix. The Brazilian was making a move on Eddie Irvine at the entrance to the Blanchimont turn, when...

Motorsport.com - Luciano Burti appears to not have suffered any serious injuries in his high-speed crash on the fourth lap of the Belgian Grand Prix.

The Brazilian was making a move on Eddie Irvine at the entrance to the Blanchimont turn, when the two cars touched, causing Burti to lose his front wing -- and thus most of his front downforce.

The hapless Burti then went straight at Blanchimont, hitting the tire wall at high speed, and burying his Prost underneath a mass of tires.

"He hit the wall very hard indeed and I'm glad he's okay," Irvine recalled. "The head and neck restraint system played a key role in saving him from serious injury. I was the first on the scene and his head was literally pushed over to one side with the weight of the tyres."

The race stewards then stopped the race while marshals and rescue workers dug removed tires and removed Burti and his stricken car from underneath the barrier.

While the accident looked very serious, FIA said in a statement that Burti was conscious, and, in an inspection at the on-track medical center, was found to have no broken bones. However, he appeared to have a concussion, and was taken to the hospital at the University of Liege for a full scan.

On closer examination, he was discovered to have bruising in several places on his head, but no swelling of his brain. He was kept in the hospital overnight observation, and will undergo another scan in the morning.

Eddie Irvine also spun off as a result of the contact between the cars, but was able to stop before hitting the tire barrier.

Irvine, whose car was only about 20 meters away, helped the Marshals with getting access to the Prost.

"The marshals were not operating properly," Niki Lauda described. "Eddie had to take over and basically tell them what to do. He was really part of the rescue there, which normally drivers shouldn't do."

However, a few years earlier, before modifications to the circuit, the accident could have been much worse.

"I think the drivers, the FIA and everybody have done a good job there," Michael Schumacher recalled. "Remember, one or two years ago, we had a big kink in the barrier there where the barrier came back and if it had still been there, he would have had a really big one."

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Series Formula 1
Drivers Eddie Irvine , Luciano Burti , Michael Schumacher , Niki Lauda