It has just been reported on BBCTV with live analysis in the studio by John Watson that Filipe Massa has sustained a serious head injury after being hit in the face by the torsion bar assembly which detached itself from the rear of Rubens Barrichello's Brawn car , in this afternoon's qualifying session in Hungary.
Slow motion replay from inside Massa's car shows clearly the sequence of events and a photo of Massa still with his helmet on shows damage to helmet and visor in the area of Massa's left eye covered in blood. Massa remained concious and lucid but was immediately air lifted to hospital and has had a successful operation for a fractured skull and remains in intensive care.
He will of course play no further part in the race meeting and there is now a 5 week gap before the next GP.
It is another very frightening incident which brings back the awful memories of Ayton Senna at Imola in 1994, and Dr Helmut Marko, amongst many others.
Thankfully apparently it is not so serious, never the less it is an extrememly nasty thing to happen and I wish Massa a complete and speedy recovery.
These recent incidents are by no means the only times drivers have been hit on the head by debris/objects from the track.
Perhaps it is time to investigate rigid cockpit ski slope shaped surround deflectors and/ or aircraft quality multi-laminated transparent windsreens , both items GP cars from the past have been fitted with. There is the capability now to fit very strong structures in this area , which is now the one part of the driver which is exposed despite relatively strong carbon fibre crash helmets.
Clearly this now wants looking at.
Latest news at 20.20pm Sat evening
Massa's condition is now described as life threatening but stable and he is to be fully sedated overnight
Edited by RTH, 25 July 2009 - 19:26.