2009 Hungarian Grand Prix
Felipe Massa crashed heavily during the second part of qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix after apparently being struck by a piece of debris.
The Ferrari driver went straight on at turn four of the Hungaroring. Replays suggested his crash helmet was hit by a piece of debris before he lost control.
For the latest on Massa’s condition see here: Confusion over Felipe Massa’s condition following reports of “life threatening” injury
The accident comes just six days after Formula Two racer Henry Surtees was killed after his helmet was struck by a stray tyre.
The start of the final part of qualifying was delayed by 20 minutes following the crash and teams of marshals sent around the circuit looking for further debris. Brawn confirmed that Rubens Barrichello’s car had lost parts from its rear suspension. Barrichello went to visit his countryman at the circuit medical centre.
Massa has been taken to hospital but his injuries are not though to be serious. He is, however, not expected to take part in the race. Ferrari will not be allowed to use a replacement driver unless the stewards agree they may do so under force majeure. Article 19.1 of the sporting regulations states:
During a season each team will be permitted to use four drivers. Changes may be made at any time before the start of the qualifying practice session provided any change proposed after 16.00 on the day of scrutineering receives the consent of the stewards.
Additional changes for reasons of force majeure will be considered separately.
Update: Massa’s injuries have been confirmed as bone damage to his skull and concussion. He will require an operation and is in intensive care. I hope he makes a rapid and full recovery.
Update 2: Massa is out of surgery and his condition is improving. A report on AP describing his condition as “life-threatening” is apparently inaccurate. BBC are reporting his condition is serious but stable. Rubens Barrichello wrote on Twitter: “Back from hospital. Felipe went through a surgery which went very well. Now he is asleep waiting for a new scan tomorrow.”