Massa stable after emergency surgery

BUDAPEST: A day after his life-threatening high-speed crash, Felipe Massa was in "stable" condition following emergency surgery on a skull fracture, Ferrari said on Sunday.

Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali told reporters from the AEK hospital that there were "no complications during the night" and that the 28-year-old Brazilian would undergo another medical scan later Sunday.

"Now he's sleeping and now they are doing the scans," Domenicali said. "We will keep you updated." Massa accident occurred during Hungarian Grand Prix qualifying on Saturday. A loose car part from a preceding car ricocheted off the track and hit Massa's helmet, concussing him, and he drove headlong into a tire wall at speeds estimated at 190 kph (120 mph).

Massa's parents and wife arrived at the hospital on Sunday after flying in from Brazil, with Domenicali comforting wife Anna Rafaela, who is expecting their first child later this year.

"It's hard for a father, a mother, and a wife to stay here and get news by phone," Massa's father, Luiz Antonio, told APTN TV before departing from Guarulhos International Airport in Sao Paulo, Brazil. "The information that we have is that he will be woken up tomorrow morning (Sunday), gradually removing the sedatives so he can wake up well." Massa underwent surgery around 4:20 p.m. local time Saturday, about an hour after being airlifted to the hospital. He was conscious at the time.

Hungary's defence department, which runs the hospital, said in a statement that Massa had 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." The impact of the rear suspension part, believed to be 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 on Massa's left brow.

He remained in the car for a considerable time and was assisted out before being taken to the medical centre. He was then taken to the helicopter on a stretcher, wearing a neckbrace.

The crash came less than a week after Henry Surtees, the son of former F1 champion John Surtees, died in similar circumstances 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.

No F1 driver has died on the track since three-time champion and fellow Brazilian Ayrton Senna's crash at Imola 15 years ago.