More trouble with HANS

The controversy continues over the HANS device, with Minardi's Justin Wilson hospitalised after the Malaysian Grand Prix due to the HANS causing what appears to be a trapped nerve in his shoulder. Wilson retired from the race in pain and unable to...

The controversy continues over the HANS device, with Minardi's Justin Wilson hospitalised after the Malaysian Grand Prix due to the HANS causing what appears to be a trapped nerve in his shoulder. Wilson retired from the race in pain and unable to move his arms after 41 laps.

"It took eight minutes for us to get him out of the car," said Minardi boss Paul Stoddart. "He was in a bad way because he couldn't feel his arms at all."

Seemingly the seat belts slipped on the HANS and caused the device to press down on Wilson's shoulders and collarbones. He's expected to make a full recovery but was taken to hospital for x-rays to make sure there was no lasting injury.

Rubens Barrichello, who blamed the device for his crash in the Australian GP, raced without it today after getting special dispensation from the stewards. The Ferrari driver said the pain caused by HANS had made him lose his concentration in Melbourne.

"I developed a little problem on the nerve on my back and Sid Watkins approved me," Barrichello explained after today's race. "He checked me and approved that (not wearing HANS). Because I cannot get tight enough inside the car, my bottom is moving inside of the car because of the HANS and I have a little hernia which is quite painful so they allowed me not to (wear it)."

Stoddart would have asked for Wilson to be allowed not to wear the device if he was aware Barrichello was racing without it: "If I had known that Rubens Barrichello had managed to get out of wearing the HANS device, I would have asked on behalf of Justin," he said.

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Rubens Barrichello , Justin Wilson , Paul Stoddart
Teams Ferrari , Minardi