Ferrari driver Felipe Massa was said to be stable after undergoing emergency surgery for skull damage and a concussion suffered as a result of a crash.


Felipe Massa Undergoes Surgery, Stable After Hungary Crash
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Ferrari driver Felipe Massa was said to be stable after undergoing emergency surgery for skull damage and a concussion suffered as a result of a crash Saturday in the qualifying session for the Hungarian Formula One Grand Prix.

Massa crashed into a tyre wall in second qualifying after being hit on the helmet by a piece of flying debris believed to have come from the Brawn GP car of Rubens Barrichello.

The 28-year-old applied the brakes but was unable to prevent his car ploughing into a tyre wall.

Massa was treated at the track's medical centre before being flown to the AEK Hospital in Budapest for further treatment.

"Felipe was conscious at the arrival at the hospital," said a Ferrari statement. "He underwent surgery to treat these conditions, the outcome of which was positive. He will now remain under observation in intensive care."

In Sao Paulo, Massa's five-month pregnant wife watched the horrific accident live on television, globoesporte.com reported. Rafaella and Massa have been married since 2007 and are expecting their first son.

Massa qualified in 10th despite the crash but will miss Sunday's race and Ferrari will not be able to nominate a replacement driver, as he would have to have driven in the qualifying session.

The accident bears similarities to one last weekend at Britain's Brands Hatch circuit when Henry Surtees, the son of former F1 world champion John Surtees, was killed during a race after being struck by a wheel.

The freak accident occurred when driver Jack Clarke's car hit a tyre wall and a wheel came off, hitting Surtees on the head.

Barrichello, who visited Massa at the circuit's medical centre, said he thought both accidents were a clear sign that there was a need for improved safety in motorsport.

"It is not a coincidence 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 Brazilian.

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