Massa to have Operation for Skull Damage

July 25, 2009

Felipe Massa suffered a nasty blow to the head at the Hungaroring this afternoon, when a piece of debris, confirmed to be from Rubens Barrichello’s car hit the Ferrari driver’s helmet.

Qualifying was delayed for some twenty minutes while marshalls and medics extracted Massa from a tyre wall in turn four, where his car had become embedded, following the tap from the debris.

While Massa did not make any contact with his race engineer Rob Smedley over the radio, it was clear to all at the track that the Brazilian had been conscious following the spring from the damper of Barrichello’s car hitting his helmet, as he left behind the evidence of heavy breaking through turn four, into the tyre wall.

Massa was eventually pulled from the wall and taken to the on-track medical centre where he was checked over by medics. Fellow compatriot, and friend Barrichello, raced off to see him, and returned saying he was agitated, but talking.

Massa was then airlifted to the AEK hospital in Budapest. Ferrari released a statement on Massa’s condition saying “Felipe was conscious at the arrival at the hospital and his general conditions remain stable. Following a complete medical examination it emerged that he had suffered a cut on his forehead, a bone damage of his skull and a brain concussion. These conditions need to be operated on after which he will remain under observation in intensive care.”

With the news Massa will not be racing in tomorrow’s race, and Ferrari’s statement that he will need surgery, many fans are speculating whether Massa will return for the remainder of the season, with many saying they do not expect to see him back in Formula One until 2010.  

The crash comes a week after the death of 18-year-old Henry Surtees who died in a Formula Two race at Brands Hatch last Sunday, after the wheel of another competitor’s car struck him on the head.

With last weekend’s tragedy, and today’s events, driver’s are calling for something to be done to stop things like this happening.

For now, I wish Massa the best, and on behalf of many F1 fans, our thoughts are with him.


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