Massa in intensive care after operation

Ferrari driver Massa has surgery after being hit by debris

Ferrari's Felipe Massa was in intensive care on Saturday after being hit on the head by bouncing debris and crashing heavily in Hungarian Grand Prix qualifying.

Ferrari, the Formula One champions, said in a statement that the Brazilian had emergency surgery at Budapest's AEK hospital which went well. A further update would be issued on Sunday.

Massa suffered a cut forehead, skull damage and concussion in the accident caused by a fist-sized spring weighing around 800 grams falling off compatriot Rubens Barrichello's Brawn seconds earlier.

The accident, which rules Massa out of Sunday's race at the Hungaroring, brought back grim memories of the crash that killed compatriot and triple champion Ayrton Senna at Imola in 1994.

It also followed the death last Sunday of Briton Henry Surtees, 18-year-old son of Ferrari's 1964 Formula One champion John, who was killed by a loose wheel hitting him on the head in a race at Brands Hatch.

Massa's red car, leaving streaking brake marks across the asphalt, ploughed straight on at turn four and into the tyre wall.

The Brazilian, who appeared to have been knocked unconscious before the car left the track, was extracted and taken by ambulance to the circuit medical centre and then by helicopter to hospital.

Italy's Gazzetta dello Sport website (http://www.gazzetta.it) showed a photograph of the driver with his visor half ripped off and a bloody gash over his closed left eye.

A shaken Barrichello went to see his compatriot at the medical centre. "I wanted to see him myself because I've been in situations like that," he said.

"We are Brazilians and sometimes we have a family, sometimes we don't, and when we wake up all we want to see is someone we know. I wanted to be there in case there was not anybody from the family there.

"But he was conscious, he was moving and he was very agitated with the fact that he had a cut on his head. With that, they sedated him for him to calm down, and then they moved him to hospital."

Barrichello, who had a big crash himself at the tragic Imola weekend that claimed the lives of Senna and Austrian Roland Ratzenberger, said what had happened to Massa and Surtees was a wake-up call.

"I honestly don't believe in coincidence in life. Things happen for a reason and I think this is the second message," he told reporters. "Imola was a message. The cars were improved. Unfortunately we lost a boy, which is tremendously sad. It is not a coincidence that something happened right now.

"In the GPDA (Grand Prix Drivers' Association) we talked quite a lot about it yesterday and something needs to be done," said the 37-year-old.

Senna died at the San Marino Grand Prix after his Williams careered off the track and into a concrete wall, the driver suffering a fatal head injury.

McLaren's world champion Lewis Hamilton agreed with Barrichello. "I believe things happen for a reason, and for two incidents to happen in such a short period of time, we can't ignore it," the Briton told reporters.

"We've got to make sure we learn from it, and improve if we can," he added.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

Paul Scholes column

I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable