Mike Stevens | Jul 26, 2009

FERRARI'S FELIPE MASSA is in a “serious but stable” condition after undergoing surgery for injuries sustained from a horrific crash during qualifying at the Hungarian Grand Prix.

Massa was knocked unconscious when he was struck by a spring which had dislodged from the car of Rubens Barrichello, careening into the barriers head-on.

While the crash itself caused no injury, Massa suffered a fractured skull, concussion and a deep gash above his left eye as a result of the impact with the spring, which weighs approximately 800 grams.

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Although early reports emerging from the United Kingdom suggested Massa had sustained life-threatening injuries, Ferrari has moved to quash those claims, stating the operation was “positive”.

Massa is currently in an induced coma and “remains under observation in intensive care”, according to Ferrari.

An AEK Hospital spokesperson meanwhile has confirmed “the condition of the driver is serious, but stable”.

The hospital chief doctor, Peter Bazso said: “At the moment he’s under anaesthetic and will be woken up on Sunday.”

The Brazilian’s crash comes a week after the death of Formula 2 driver Henry Surtees, who was killed in eerily similar circumstances when he was struck on the helmet by a loose tyre.

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Following qualifying, Barrichello visited Massa at the Budapest hospital, stating on his twitter feed: “He is asleep waiting for a new scan tomorrow.”

However, the former Ferrari driver urged the FIA to consider a complete safety overview of the sport.

"I honestly don't believe in coincidences in life," he said, referring to the accident which claimed Surtees’ life.

"Things happen for a reason and I think this is the second message. Imola [where Ayrton Senna died in 1994] was a message and the cars were improved. Unfortunately, we lost a boy [Surtees], which is tremendously sad.

"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. Absolutely.

"But I don't know what. We need to sit down and have a look at it. I think the cars are a hell of a lot safer, really a lot safer, but there is no coincidence on this and something needs to be looked at," Barrichello said.

Brawn GP boss Ross Brawn confirmed the spring which hit Massa did indeed come from Barrichello’s car, but said he has been unable to determine the cause of the failure.

“We had a problem at the back, so we are still investigating and we haven't had the piece back from the FIA yet so once we get it back we can understand what occurred and then draw some conclusions,” he said.

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