Felipe Massa has undergone successful surgery at the AEK hospital in Budapest after crashing heavily during the qualifying session for the Hungarian Grand Prix. However, the Brazilian's condition remains critical. Felipe Massa is taken...
Felipe Massa has undergone successful surgery at the AEK hospital in Budapest after crashing heavily during the qualifying session for the Hungarian Grand Prix. However, the Brazilian's condition remains critical.
"Massa's condition is serious and life-threatening but stable," summarized Peter Bazso, the hospital's medical director during a news conference late today local time.
Lajos Zsiros, the hospital's chief of surgery, and Bazso explained that they induced coma for Massa, given the seriousness of the injuries. The Brazilian driver is also on a respirator as a precautionary measure.
However, Ferrari spokesman Lucal Colajanni said there was no danger to Massa's life, describing such statements as "absolute nonsense."
The hospital is expected to provide an update on Massa's condition late on Sunday morning.
Massa crashed his Ferrari F60 heavily into the tire barriers near the end of the second qualifying segment. He appeared to have braked, black rubber streaks bearing out the action, but he never turned the wheel; no doubt he was knocked out momentarily, and went straight off the circuit at Turn 4 to crash heavily into a tire barrier. He sat slumped forward for before the medical team arrived to remove him from the car.
With replays indicating that he was likely hit by a dislodged rear spring from Rubens Barrichello's car, he suffered cuts above the right eye, a concussion as well as damage to the bones of his skull.
A Formula 1 rear spring, a standard part, typically weighs only between 700 and 800 grams (1.5 to 1.8 lbs), but the speed of the impact, likely close to 200 km/h (125 mph) combined with the spring's sharp extremities, greatly increases the potential damage from such an object.
Photographs taken immediately after the crash showed that the spring had broken through the helmet, bloodying and bruising the area around his left eye.
He was reported to be awake and agitated, though not necessarily entirely aware of his surroundings, in the track medical center. He was then airlifted to the hospital by helicopter, and arrived there at 3:20 PM local time. The surgery was started approximately one hour later after the diagnosis was completed.