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2009? Massa more vexed by recent crashes

2014-07-25 08:48

WHO'S AT FAULT? Williams' Felipe Massa (right) crashes with Force India's Sergio Perez (left) at the 2014 Canadian GP in Montreal. AP Photo/The Canadian Press/Graham Hughes


BUDAPEST, Hungary - Felipe Massa, five years after a freak accident during the Hungarian Formula 1 GP weekend that put him in a coma with near-fatal head injuries, is back at the track and trying to put much more recent crashes behind him.

The 33-year-old Brazilian remembers nothing of that 2009 drama when he was hit on the helmet - on the corner of the visor - by a bouncing spring shed from compatriot Rubens Barrichello's Brawn during qualifying.

He was saved that day by a few millimetres.


That incident and the former Ferrari driver's remarkable recovery will always be a talking point in his career but Massa, now with resurgent Williams, is much more focused on the here and now.

So much so that, when asked on Thursday (July 24 2014) about 2009, the Brazilian assumed the question related to his first-corner collision in Germany the previous Sunday.

"Yeah, I feel the accident, and it was really a shame to be honest. To have an accident like that on the first corner was really a shame, but we need to think forward, about this weekend," he said.

"I hope none of these things happen and we can be competitive (here)."

Mercedes-powered Williams is third overall in the Constructors' championship with its sights on 2013 champion team Red Bull in second place after emerging as the main challenge to the dominant Mercedes works team in recent races.

Massa, who qualified third at Hockenheima week earlier and started on pole in Austriain June, has had a troubled season so far. He's been in three big crashes in the last four races while team mate Valtteri Bottas has been on the podium in the three most recent races.

  •At Silverstone Massa was caught up in the wreckage of Kimi Raikkonen's first-lap crash.
  • In Canada he and Force India's Sergio Perez collided on the last lap while fighting for position.
  •In Germanyhe was pitched out in a coming together with McLaren's Danish rookie Kevin Magnussen as both raced into the first corner. His Williams flipped, skidding upside-down with sparks flying from the rollover bar, before righting itself.

Even though Massa was the only one of the two summoned by the stewards afterwards, with the officials declaring it a racing incident, the Brazilian remained adamant that Magnussen was the guilty party.

And in a tetchy exchange with reporters ahead of the July 26 Hungarian GP, he questioned the stewards' actions in questioning only him. "There is a lot to improve, even in the FIA... if the stewards are thinking like that, I don't know who they are taking to be stewards."

The Brazilian, also dumped out of the season-opening Australian GP through no fault of his own by Caterham's Kamui Kobayashi at the start, hoped Hungary would bring a change of luck.

"I have a very great feeling when I come to this country," he said. "I have a lot of fans, people really like to support me everywhere I go, in the hotel, airport. It's really nice to be here, it's a very special place for me, so I hope we can use all of this for good energy to have a good weekend."


The events of five years earlier, with the world of motorsport holding its breath as he lay in hospital for days in a critical condition, belonged to the distant past.

"I don't remember anyway from the (2009) accident," said the Brazilian. "I'm always in contact with the doctor who did the operations. We have a very good relationship, for sure I'll see him this weekend."

Stay with Wheels24 for the 2014 Hungarian GP this weekend.


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