Massa stable as FIA launch accident probe

Brazilians mishap takes gloss off Alonsos first pole since 2007

Massa stable as FIA launch accident probe

Medical staff lift Felipe Massa on to an ambulance after he crashed during qualifying for the Hungarian GP in Budapest on Saturday. Reuters

The 28-year-old Brazilian underwent successful surgery yesterday after suffering skull and eye injuries, as well as brain concussion, after his 275 kph accident at Turn Four of the Hungaroring circuit.

His most serious head injuries were caused when he was struck by a spring that broke off compatriot Rubens Barrichello's Brawn GP car.

Ferrari said: "After undergoing an operation yesterday afternoon, Felipe Massa's condition remains stable and there were no further complications through the night.

"He will be given another CT scan today, which will provide more precise information."

Massa, one of the sport's most popular drivers, was examined first at the circuit medical centre and then airlifted to the AEK Hospital in Budapaest where they carried out surgery and put him into an induced coma.

Doctors at the hospital were said to be encouraged by his condition overnight, and reported that he had suffered no further complications.

Barrichello, a fellow-native of Sao Paulo and a close friend of Massa, visited Massa at the hospital last evening. Massa's father, mother and pregnant wife were flying to Hungary from Brazil.

Formula One's commercial ring-master Bernie Ecclestone also visited the hospital to see Massa.

Afterwards, he said: "We thought we had gone through all of these kind of problems. I have spoken to Sid Watkins (the sport's chief safety consultant and former chief medical officer) and he's looking into it."

The sport's ruling body, the International Motoring Federation (FIA), confirmed they will launch an investigation into the accident together with the Brawn team.

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