F1 driver Massa speaks about accident: "I wasn't scared"

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Felipe Massa in 2008.
Image: Vïctor J. Tornet.

Formula One driver Felipe Massa has been speaking to the press about the accident which left him seriously injured during the qualifying session of the 2009 Hungarian Grand Prix.

After returning to São Paulo on Monday 3 August, he attributes his rapid recovery to the medical staff at the ÁEK Military Hospital in Budapest and at the track, to his personal doctor Dino Altmann, and to members of the team and his family, who flew from Brazil to be at his bedside.

He also emphasised that his faith played an important part in the recovery process.

In an interview with the Brazilian Globo network from his home in São Paolo, responding to questions regarding a possible return to the driving seat: "Notwithstanding a speedy recovery the date of my return is still an unknown. The doctors have told me that the decision is down to me. I think I'll start off in Karts."

I was never scared that I would die.

—Felipe Massa

Massa added that his wife, Rafaela, who is six months pregnant with their first child, had never asked him to quit racing, despite being continuously anxious for her husband.

The accident has raised concerns throughout the world of motorsport over safety. Other incidents such as the tragic death of Henry Surtees one week earlier, and the rogue wheel of Fernando Alonso the day after Massa's accident have only given these concerns more credibility. However, the nature of Massa's accident, and his ability to be discharged from hospital after only one week makes a case for Formula One that they have high levels of safety.

Nevertheless, the other drivers displayed sincere concern for their fellow competitor, none more so than compatriot Rubens Barrichello who was driving the car from which the spring which impacted with Massa's crash helmet came from. Team mate Kimi Räikkönen on the other hand was somewhat less emotional.

Massa explains: "Kimi didn't call me, I saw a video on Sky with all the drivers, where he was actually the most calm. He sent me a card in hospital, but it wasn't a problem. Kimi is different, it's what he's like."

Despite the visually alarming injuries which Massa displays, his main concern is the fact that Michael Schumacher cannot deputise for him after all: "Now for Ferrari without Schumi it will be more difficult."