Following his accident during this morning's free practice session, Ralph Firman was taken first to the circuit medical centre and then to Orszagos Traumatologiai Intezet hospital at Sebeszeti Osztaly, near Budapest for full scans and x-rays, the...
Following his accident during this morning's free practice session, Ralph Firman was taken first to the circuit medical centre and then to Orszagos Traumatologiai Intezet hospital at Sebeszeti Osztaly, near Budapest for full scans and x-rays, the results of which were all clear. Firman has a severely bruised heel and slight concussion and will remain in hospital overnight for observation and further scans in the morning.
Following consultation with Professor Sid Watkins, it has been decided that he will not participate in this afternoon's qualifying session or tomorrow's race.
Firman is in good spirit and feeling well and plans to visit the track tomorrow to see the team and watch the race. Speaking about the accident, he said, "I was going fine, had done a couple of laps and all I remember is suddenly I could tell something had happened - the car sped up and felt different but I didn't know why and then almost instantly I was spearing off the track. I can't really remember anything between that and then being in the ambulance but more of it is starting to come back to me. I feel absolutely great in the circumstances and I'm just disappointed for the team and for myself that I'm missing this race, I was really enjoying the weekend. I'm keen to get back out there and see everybody tomorrow and concentrate on being fit for the Monza test. I have to thank the FIA and the team for their hard work on safety and also the circuit and hospital medical teams for looking after me so well."
Sid Watkins, FIA Medical Delegate said "Ralph had a big accident with huge lateral input into the barrier at high speed. He was briefly unconscious but soon started to recover and was trying to get out of the car on his own. He was concussed but soon recognised me and behaved normally. The fact that his head injury was so minor is a tribute to the construction of the car and the safety measures of the cockpit. The head and neck protective foam clearly absorbed a great deal of the energy. The introduction of the high side protective foam and the introduction of the HANS device have been a major step in improving the protection of the driver."
The team has investigated the cause of the rear wing failure on Firman's car and is satisfied that the risk of a recurrence is negligible.
This morning the permanent bureau of the Formula One Commission unanimously agreed to issue Zsolt Baumgartner with a superlicense based on his Formula One testing experience with Jordan Ford this season and the FIA have permitted the team to enter Baumgartner as the driver of car number 12 for the remainder of the weekend.