Felipe Massa Hit in Head with Debris During Hungarian Grand Prix Qualifying

Felipe Massa Victim of Second Freak Accident in as Many Weeks

7/25/09 in Formula One   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

Just a week after Henry Surtees's tragic death, European style open wheel racing has once again seen a freak accident involving something striking a driver in the head. This time though, it happens in its premier form of racing, Formula One.

During qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix, a piece of suspension fell off the car of Rubens Barrichello. Unfortunately, that piece flew into the air and struck Ferrari's Felipe Massa in the head. Just like Surtees, Massa lost control, missed a corner, and hit the tire barrier. The good news is that Massa is alive and was conscious (and in the video, you can tell he was able to at least get on the brake). The bad news is he suffered bone damage to his skull and a brain concussion. Surgery is required and Massa will be in intensive care afterwards. (UPDATE: Massa's condition is described as "serious, life-threatning but stable")

The following is the video, which again shows what I just described. Viewer discretion advised.



After the Surtees tragedy, F1 Fanatic looked at the possibility of closed cockpits, and other potential safety measures could be proposed. However, I'm not sure what can be done really. As unfortunate as these two incidents have been, this isn't something that happens all the time. I can only remember two other incidents involving drivers getting hit by debris, and both were a while ago. Racing is inherently dangerous, and this is one of those risks. If any new safety measures can come out of this though, I'm all for it.
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7/26/09   |   renjithr3

Fast Car Riding king

7/26/09   |   mags04

(Edited by mags04)

that accident was awful. hopefully he will pull through. thoughts and prayers go out to him.

7/26/09   |   Sijeesh   |   1 respect

That was a damm accident

7/26/09   |   kramer   |   11004 respect

srvntofjesus wrote:
SO EVEN WITH A HELMET HE HAD INJURIES THAT ARE THAT BAD.   EITHER THATS 1 SH**TY HELMET OR THAT WAS A HELLUFA DEFLECTION.    I SAW THE OTHER WRECK AND I CAN UNDERSTAND A BIG TIRE MANAGING TO KILL THE DRIVER ,MAY HE REST IN PEACE,BUT THAT LITTLE PIECE OF METAL SHOULDNT HAVE EFFECTED THAT HELMET.     BUT MAYBE I DONT KNOW WHAT IN TALKING ABOUT

Gearhead is right, that's basic physics.  The faster something is going, the more force it has when it hits something.

7/25/09   |   Debi_L   |   11862 respect

New recap I just watched indicates he came thru the surgery successfully and is stable, THANK GOD!

7/25/09   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

srvntofjesus wrote:
SO EVEN WITH A HELMET HE HAD INJURIES THAT ARE THAT BAD.   EITHER THATS 1 SH**TY HELMET OR THAT WAS A HELLUFA DEFLECTION.    I SAW THE OTHER WRECK AND I CAN UNDERSTAND A BIG TIRE MANAGING TO KILL THE DRIVER ,MAY HE REST IN PEACE,BUT THAT LITTLE PIECE OF METAL SHOULDNT HAVE EFFECTED THAT HELMET.     BUT MAYBE I DONT KNOW WHAT IN TALKING ABOUT

It may have been a relatively small piece, but it was steel and it was going at a pretty high rate of speed, as was Massa. That's going to create a lot of momentum and a big impact. If the impact had been just a few inches closer to the visor, Massa's dead immediately.

7/25/09   |   srvntofjesus   |   13 respect

SO EVEN WITH A HELMET HE HAD INJURIES THAT ARE THAT BAD.   EITHER THATS 1 SH**TY HELMET OR THAT WAS A HELLUFA DEFLECTION.    I SAW THE OTHER WRECK AND I CAN UNDERSTAND A BIG TIRE MANAGING TO KILL THE DRIVER ,MAY HE REST IN PEACE,BUT THAT LITTLE PIECE OF METAL SHOULDNT HAVE EFFECTED THAT HELMET.     BUT MAYBE I DONT KNOW WHAT IN TALKING ABOUT

7/25/09   |   blondie45044   |   5873 respect

My prayers are with the family's that have suffered losses. It is a shame that it takes a tragedy to make the safety be looked into!

7/25/09   |   Debi_L   |   11862 respect

UGH that was awful.  My thoughts and prayers with Filipe.  Let's hope he can come back to racing full time