Ferrari’s Brazilian driver Felipe Massa was injured in a crash during qualifying sessions at the Hungarian Grand Prix. Massa, who will miss next race, was airlifted to hospital after the incident and underwent surgery.
AFP - Ferrari's Felipe Massa will miss Sunday's Hungarian Grand Prix after suffering a horror crash in qualifying when his car careered off the track at more than 200kph when he was hit by flying debris.
The 28-year-old Brazilian - winner of 11 Grand Prix and the world championship runner-up in 2008 - came off at Turn Four after being struck by a piece of bodywork which had flown off the rear of compatriot Rubens Barrichello's Brawn car.
Massa was airlifted to hospital and underwent surgery.
"Felipe Massa has undergone surgery at the AEK hospital in Budapest and the outcome of the procedure was positive. Now Felipe will remain under observation in intensive care," said a Ferrari statement.
"An update on his condition will be issued late Sunday morning."
The team said that Massa suffered skull damage, cuts to his forehead and brain concussion.
Massa was hit on the face and was momentarily concussed as his car skewed off the circuit and into the tyre barriers.
The Brawn team confirmed that Barrichello's car lost a piece of suspension and on-board film from Massa's Ferrari showed him being struck, losing control and going off the track.
"My thoughts right now are with Felipe and his family who are really close friends of mine and I hope he is going to be ok and will be fit as soon as possible," said Barrichello.
Massa was lifted out of his driver's cockpit after being attended by medical staff and then taken to the circuit medical centre.
The accident took place shortly before the end of the Q2 mini-session during the hour-long qualifying period in which Massa managed to clock the eighth-fastest time.
Barrichello told BBC Sport that he believed a rear bar or rear spring had fallen off - "something broke" - after qualifying in 13th, but made no mention of Massa's crash.
Massa's team-mate Kimi Raikkonen said: "Felipe was just very unlucky. It was just an unlucky situation."
The incident again threw the spotlight in safety in motor racing just a week after Britain's Henry Surtees was killed in an accident in a Formula Two race at Brands Hatch.
The son of former world champion John Surtees was struck by a wheel which flew off a competitor's car.
Massa has been with Ferrari since 2006 and was pipped by just one point by Lewis Hamilton in the title race in 2008.
He is currently in fifth place in the drivers championship with 22 points.
Meanwhile Spain's two-time champion Fernando Alonso took pole position.
Date created : 2009-07-25