x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 16 January 2018

Massa stable, crash to be investigated

Ferrari say Felipe Massa is in a stable condition and the International Motoring Federation launches an investigation into the crash

The stricken Ferrari driver Felipe Massa is taken to a nearby helicopter yesterday after his horror crash at the Hungaroring track.
The stricken Ferrari driver Felipe Massa is taken to a nearby helicopter yesterday after his horror crash at the Hungaroring track.

A full investigation has been launched into the causes and repercussions of the Ferrari driver Felipe Massa's accident during qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix. The investigation will be conducted by the sport's ruling body, the International Motoring Federation, with the Brawn GP team. Massa suffered skull and eye injuries, as well as brain concussion, when he was struck on the head by a spring that broke loose from compatriot Rubens Barrichello's Brawn GP car. The debris hit Massa's helmet just above his left eye at about 275kph. It knocked him unconscious and caused him to crash into a tyre barrier at Turn Four of the Hungaroring circuit. Meanwhile Massa remains in a stable condition in hospital today after fracturing his skull in two places during the freak accident. A Ferrari statement today read: "After undergoing an operation yesterday afternoon, Felipe Massa's condition remains stable and there were no further complications through the night. "He will be given another CT scan today which will provide more precise information." The 28 year old was struck by a spring - which can weigh anything up to a kilogram - that had worked loose from Rubens Barrichello's Brawn GP during the middle 15-minute period of qualifying. The spring was seen bouncing along the Hungaroring track before flying over the front of Massa's Ferrari that was travelling at 170mph, striking the Brazilian on the helmet just over his left eye. Massa appeared to be knocked unconscious, with his right foot jamming down on the throttle as he drove straight into a tyre barrier. Stricken in the car, photographs emerged showing a fist-sized dent in his helmet, and with the visor up, there was a large cut over a blackened left eye. Massa was initially treated at the circuit's medical centre before being taken by helicopter to Budapest's AEK military hospital where he underwent emergency surgery. A Ferrari official later described the operation as a "success". It is now hoped the brain scan later today will confirm Massa is en route to recovery.

Read Massa's interview in today's edition of The National, as the Ferrari driver says not even the birth of his first child, due in November, would stop him racing in Formula One's Abu Dhabi curtain-call.

*PA Sport