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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hungaroring 2009. He was struck in the helmet by a wayward suspension spring. Sustained a concussion and broken eye socket. Has undergone surgery and is in an induced coma to prevent swelling. Status is life-threatening but stable. Truly tragic stuff. :(

Edit: YouTube has pulled the vids due to copywrite.

Here is a model of what happened.

YouTube - Felipe Massa Crash Hungary 2009 - 3D Animation
 

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Hope Massa is OK. Does anyone know what exactly hit him? It looked like some type of can or metal piece :shrug:
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
The Associated Press: Massa satisfactory after life-threatening accident

Massa satisfactory after life-threatening accident
By PAUL LOGOTHETIS (AP) – 3 hours ago
BUDAPEST, Hungary — Ferrari driver Felipe Massa underwent surgery on life-threatening skull injuries Saturday from a high-speed crash during Hungarian Grand Prix qualifying. He was in stable condition in the intensive care unit of a military hospital.
The accident happened when a loose part from another car hit Massa in the helmet, causing him to veer into a tire-lined barrier at about 120 mph. The front of his car was shredded, with both tires gone and the front nose open.
The 28-year-old Brazilian also sustained a concussion but was conscious when airlifted to AEK hospital, his team said.
"At the time he was admitted to hospital his condition was stable and he was breathing and blood circulation was normal," the Hungarian defense department said in a statement.
"During the course of his examination they established that he suffered a serious, life-threatening injuries, including loss of consciousness and a fracture of the forehead on the left side and a fracture on the base of the skull."
Massa underwent surgery about an hour after arriving at the hospital. Hospital doctors subsequently said his condition was "serious, life threatening but stable" at a news conference, but ultimately ruled the Formula One driver was in "stable, satisfactory condition."
A spring that had fallen off Rubens Barrichello's car flew up and struck Massa in the helmet. An apparently dazed Massa continued over a curb and across the track. He went through the gravel area along the circuit before slamming into the tire barrier.
The impact of the rear suspension part — a standard component that Brawn GP team principal Ross Brawn believed was made of steel — damaged the left side of Massa's helmet, ripping out the visor and leaving a long dent on its side. Blood was seen above Massa's left brow.
Barrichello, a fellow Brazilian, went to the medical center to check on Massa. He said Massa appeared to be doing fine despite the cut above his left eye.
"He was in shock," Barrichello told The Associated Press. "Considering the gravity of the accident, I think he's in OK shape."
Massa appeared to regain consciousness just before the crash at turn No. 4 because his front brakes seemed to lock ahead of the violent impact.
He remained in the car awhile and was assisted out before being taken to the medical center. He was then taken to the helicopter on a stretcher, wearing a neck brace.
The crash came less than a week after Henry Surtees, the son of former F1 champion John Surtees, died in an F2 race last Sunday. Surtees was struck in the head by a tire from another car, causing him to lose consciousness and drive into a barrier.
"It is not a coincidence that something happened right now," Barrichello told reporters. "Something needs to be done. Yes, absolutely."
No F1 driver has died on the track since three-time champion Ayrton Senna's crash at Imola 15 years ago.
The accident was also reminiscent of Heikki Kovalainen's high-speed crash at last year's Spanish GP, when the McLaren driver sped into a wall. Kovalainen spent the night in a hospital with a concussion.
"What happened to me in Barcelona was a very nasty accident. But I think it was a pretty freak accident and I don't know how to prevent that," Kovalainen said. "It was very unfortunate. But I think we should discuss it."
Surtees' death prompted drivers to discuss at length the issue of debris and head safety during their usual pre-race meeting Friday.
Renault's Fernando Alonso won the pole position for Sunday's race after qualifying was delayed for nearly 30 minutes because of Massa's accident.
Associated Press Writer Pablo Gorondi contributed to this report.
 

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...oh gosh, this is awful...
 

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Wow. This is almost unbeleivable. It is one thing to be hurt in an accident, another to be hurt (and poor Surtees' son even more so) by debris on the track.

I beleive the impact with the tire barriers caused some significant injury as well. THe frontal impact of the spring wouldn't cause a basilar skell fx, but the head on impact would - a la Earnheart. I beleive they wear HANS. HANS is supposed to prevent such an injury. It looked like his head was thrown forward quite a bit on impact with the tire wall. Without the HANS I think the outcome could have been much worse.

I ordered my HANS today.
 

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This is not the first accident of its kind. Alan Stacey was killed in the 1960 Belgian GP when he was hit in the head at speed by a bird, lost consciousness, and lost control of his Lotus 18.

Alan Stacey - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 

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It seemed to be just a very unfortunate, very unlikely accident. It could have been much worse if Massa hadn't been able to do some braking before hitting the barrier; it's kind of amazing that given the extent of the injury that he was able to brake at all.

It sounds like he's got a good chance at a full recovery... let's hope so.
 

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NYTimes coverage: <a href=http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/26/sports/autoracing/26massa.html?ref=sports>Ferrari Driver Fractures His Skull </a>

Warning... the photo of Massa doesn't hide the injury
 

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it was one of the springs off of barichellos car.

amazing that it got him right in the noggin.

there was a guy who was racing FF at the national race in phx this year very nice guy, who was later (~4 months ago)running somewhere in mid america in the FF, who was hit in the head by a 25 lbs turkey that was trying to take off across the track.
he was hurt very badly from it, and i dont know his current status.

freak accidents, but they can happen.


lotus69f2, I am glad you order the HANS, good move, and lets hope you never "need it":up:

wishing massa a speedy recovery
 

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It's always a danger in open cockpit cars-some sort of object flying through the air and hitting the driver. Ayrton Senna's own wheel hit him during what appeared to be a minor off in the San Marino Grand Prix in '94-the upright punched through his helmet. What's strange is that Barrichelo was Senna's protege in that season (his rookie year) and Barrichelo had a massive crash during qualifying that kept him out of that race.

Massa is my personal favorite among the current line-up. He's just a blast to watch and always seems to be a cheerful guy. I'm hoping for his speedy recovery.

Tom
 

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NYTimes coverage: <a href=http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/26/sports/autoracing/26massa.html?ref=sports>Ferrari Driver Fractures His Skull </a>

Warning... the photo of Massa doesn't hide the injury
ii just finished watching the recorded qualifying, and rewound several times on the incident.
IMO, that ding on the helmet, and the hit to the eye must have been from that spring, not the impact with the tires(just speculating of course).
same side as the impact.
I wonder what the spring weighs, and how fast he was going when it impacted.

thats a nasty picture, thats for sure.
 

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WTF!!....this is unbelievable! What are the chances of flying debris striking a driver's head?
I truly hope Massa recovers with no sequelae.
 

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An attempt at the physics (has been a while)

2 pound spring. 120 mph.

momentum= mass X velocity

momentum= 2lb X 120 mph= 240 lb.miles/hour= 1267200 lb.feet/3600 seconds

= 352 pound feet per second.

Need to express in terms of the area of impact, say 4 square inches, to get a real feel for the impact.

My rough estimate is 88 pounds per square inch. This does not seem right though, I'd expect more in order to penetrate the helmet that solidly. Is F=MA more useful?
 

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An attempt at the physics (has been a while)

2 pound spring. 120 mph.

momentum= mass X velocity

momentum= 2lb X 120 mph= 240 lb.miles/hour= 1267200 lb.feet/3600 seconds

= 352 pound feet per second.

Need to express in terms of the area of impact, say 8 square inches, to get a real feel for the impact.

My rough estimate is 44 pounds per square inch. This does not seem right though, I'd expect more. Is F=MA more useful?
I might be more useful to look at it this way... the spring basically had to change it's velocity from whatever initial difference between it and the car, to a near zero difference in velocity, over a very short distance (roughly the amount of the recoil of helmet). 120mph = 176 fps. If the spring decelerated from that relative speed to zero relative speed in say, 6 inches, or 0.5 feet, and the decel was linear, it took roughly 0.0057 seconds to decelerate. That's equal to roughly 240G of deceleration on the spring, which at ~2 pounds (1 Kg) works out to about 500 pounds of force on the helmet.

EDIT: If I'm wrong about the distance of the recoil, the force increases with the square of the relative decrease in distance... .i.e, if the distance is 3 inches, the force is 2,000 pounds.
 

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i just watched qual. ...so sad - hope massa heals quickly.

... what a freak accident. i am still amazed at the modern F1 safety record overall though, given the inhernt danger of open wheel cockpits and the speeds.

best wishes to massa - sounds like he will be ok - out for the rest of the season maybe... ocular orbit fracture is nasty.

also - i am amazed he got his senses back together and modulated lock up into the barriers... those guys are out of the world talented.
 

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I just finished watching qualifying - holy cow was that scary!

Another few inches to Massa's right and the entire spring could have penetrated the visor. This is horrible but could have been fatal.

I really like Massa. He seems like a really good guy.

The account on dailyf1.com Formula 1 : F1 Live, with F1-Live.com
states that Baracello is pretty messed up by this because the part came from his car.

I guess we will learn more in the morning.

Be Safe to all
 
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