Saturday, July 25, 2009

Massa injured in qualifying crash

Felipe Massa will not race in the Hungarian Grand Prix after the Ferrari driver was hurt in a high-speed accident during qualifying on Saturday.

Massa, 28, applied his brakes but went head on into a tyre wall at Turn Four after a piece of debris hit his helmet.

He was treated at the scene by medical teams before being airlifted to hospital, which is standard procedure.

Massa suffered a cut above his left eye which Ferrari called a "superficial" injury after confirming he was "OK".

A statement on their official website reads: "Felipe is conscious and has been brought to a Budapest hospital for routine examinations."

The incident delayed final qualifying by 20 minutes but Massa - who was provisionally 10th on the grid - took no part.

The 28-year-old - winner of 11 grands prix in his career - went off the Hungaroring track at around 125mph, with reports suggesting the debris had fallen off the rear of compatriot Rubens Barrichello's Brawn GP car.

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.

Brawn later confirmed that Barrichello's car was missing a part, or parts of its rear suspension.

Massa's team-mate Kimi Raikkonen said: "Felipe was just very unlucky. It was just an unlucky situation."

The incident comes less than a week after Henry Surtees, 18, was killed in a what was described as a "freak" accident during a Formula Two race at Brands Hatch.

The son of motorsport legend John Surtees was struck by a wheel which flew off a competitor's car.