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Massa Dodges a Bullet

July 25, 2009

He should be dead, Felipe, you know? The reaper has nothing on the Ferrari driver. God waved his hand and Massa lived. That he lived is a divine miracle and one I am obviously grateful for.  The mere centimeters between Felipe Massa and death today were frighteningly, excruciatingly close – that much is true for all to see.

Observe this photo if you will.

OMFG!

Them observe this screen shot from the video below…

Massa’s face was almost smashed in from the impact – now suffering a cut, blackened, swollen and bleeding left eye, not to mention a fractured skull –  you can see the massive chunk of carbon kevlar that has been gouged out of the helmet when the debris hit him at more than 200kph.

A single solitary centimeter in virtually any direction and we would all have to be burying and mourning for another beloved Brazilian.

That is a terrifying photo and Felipe Massa is one of the luckiest individuals currently living. Make no mistake about it.

The video is just as sobering.

At 23 seconds the cylindrical object has struck Massa in the head, knocking him out cold. This was vision slowed down as well. Think about that. In all honesty, when people tell me to buy helmets based on appearance over safety I have to question whether or not these people have anything up there to protect.

I can inform you all now that the object was a 5 INCH LONG  METAL SPRING from the rear suspension of the Brawn F1 cars.

According to James Allen, he reported; ‘I’ve spoken to someone who has held the spring in question and it is around five inches long, coiled metal and quite heavy. Massa is incredibly lucky to have survived an impact like that with only light injuries.

In a world where danger for racing drivers is always as close as the next bend, the whole world got another frightening reminder this afternoon as to why motor sport can potentially prove fatal for every one that is involved.

In Q3 for the Hungary F1 GP,  Felipe Massa was on his first hot lap just after the session had started when he mysteriously and inexplicably left the road at full speed, hitting the barriers head on at over 230kph.

At first, it looked like a totally bizarre and confusing accident. Watching it happen live, I wondered what would cause Massa to miss the sequence of corners and make a dead straight line for the barriers at that speed. The front tyres were on full lock and yet he was hard on the gas. On-screen graphs proved as much.

Massa slammed into the tires and chaos ensued. Rescue teams took a long while to stabilize Massa and extricate him from the wreck.

OMFG2

The mangled bent Ferrari was eventually removed allowing the marshals to rebuild the damaged tyre wall.

OMFG3

Boards and forums around the world lit up with messages of idiocy and truth, mixed with speculation and ignorance. No one knew what had happened.

Then, finally, after 10 minutes, the replay was shown. And it all became horrifyingly clear that this was no ordinary accident.

This was the same type of freak occurrence that had tragically and cruelly cut short the life of 18 year old Henry Surtees. The type of accident that no one can do anything about. The type of accident that reminds us all that the sport we all love can be fatal for your health.

Like I said – Felipe Massa is extraordinarily lucky to be alive.

Ferrari released this statement moments ago…

“After the accident during the qualifying session of the Grand Prix of Hungary, Felipe Massa was airlifted to the AEK hospital in Budapest. Felipe was conscious at the arrival at the hospital and his general conditions remain stable. Following a complete medical examination it emerged that he had suffered a cut on his forehead, a bone damage of his skull and a brain concussion. These conditions need to be operated on after which he will remain under observation in intensive care.”

I wish Felipe the speediest of recoveries and want to see him back in the saddle as soon as possible. I also wish to extend my condolences to the Massa family for this shocking accident.

He’s still with us and that is the main thing.

When we will see Massa behind the wheel again is a mystery but we all hope it is sooner rather than later. Let us all just hope this freak accident doesn’t ruin his racing career for good.

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