Hungary 2009: Felipe Massa Crashes Out Of Qualifying

Hungary 2009: Felipe Massa Crashes Out Of Qualifying

The final shots from the second stint in qualifying showed Felipe Massa’s Ferrari F60 buried quite deep in the tyre barrier at turn four. While no footage has been shown of exactly what happened, Massa remained in the car, although he was moving his head and appeared to be speaking to his race engineer Rob Smedley on the radio. The medical car quickly arrived on site, followed by two ambulances.

No further news is forthcoming at the moment, but I will update as soon as more information is made available. It could be that Massa has damaged a limb. The black lines showing the angle of attack indicates a massive front brake lock-up, possibly meaning a rear brake failure, much like what happened to Michael Schumacher at Silverstone.

Felipe Massa has been removed from the car and the Ferrari is being craned away.

The third qualifying run has been delayed while the marshals repair the tyre barrier.

Massa’s G-meter light went on, indicating it was a heavy shunt. Whenever the G-meter lights up, drivers have to go to the medical centre for a check-up.

Last year, Heikki Kovalainen went in deep in to a barrier at Spain, but was deemed fit to race at the following event..

BBC are suggesting Massa was hit with some debris just prior to the accident. Of course, given the recent circumstances, it would be shocking it had happened. However, Massa was attempting to slow the car, as the brake marks show.

Marshals are walking the track, possibly checking the surface. Coulthard says that is not normal, possibly adding weight to the suggestion that Massa was hit by or ran over something.

The F60 is back in the pitlane, and amazingly, the nose is in one piece and still attached to the car.

Parts of Rubens Barrichello’s rear suspension is missing from his car, Jock Clear has confirmed, and it is possibly this part that may have struck Massa, if indeed anything did.

Eddie Jordan says that a reliable source says that Massa received a knock to the chin, which shocked him and caused the accident. However, Massa is apparently okay. We still await an official announcement though.

Onboard footage from Massa’s Ferrari shows he did receive a whack from a piece of debris on the his helmet, went straight on over the following corner and slammed into the barrier. Also of note, upon impact, Massa moved quite a lot, indicating his belts may have stretched. Massa is being helicoptered to hospital, which is normal for an accident of this size.

Barrichello has apparently visited Massa in the medical centre, and that Massa was talking to him and was fine.

Felipe Massa - 2009 Hungarian Grand Prix Qualifying

What’s also interesting from the video is that Massa applies both throttle and brakes after being hit. The fact that Massa remained on the throttle after hitting the wall suggests his throttle stuck open.

Felipe Massa - 2009 Hungarian Grand Prix Qualifying
Felipe Massa - 2009 Hungarian Grand Prix Qualifying
Felipe Massa - 2009 Hungarian Grand Prix Qualifying

Massa is to undergo surgery after the debris impact damaged the bone in his skull. Although stable, Massa will remain in intensive care and will definitely not take part in tomorrow’s race.

A further update On Felipe Massa can be read here: Hungary 2009: Massa Rests His Weary Head After Successful Surgery.


  • […] Somewhat amazingly, when the F60 was returned to the Ferrari garage, the nose was still intact, indicating the phenomenal strength of a modern-day Formula One machine. However, given the speed of the impact, Massa is unlikely to take any further part in this weekend’s race. The doctors are likely to order rest for the Brazilian, and they would not want Felipe to be put in a situation where he may receive a second concussion. Thankfully though, Massa appears to be stable and fine. […]

  • Here is a link to an image of Massa’s helmet after the crash:

    [link removed by editor]

    He got hit on his left side of the brain which controls the right side of the body, so this may be an explanation of why the throttle kept going at full. It is possible his right foot kept pressing the pedal since the brain was not really ordering the foot otherwise…

  • Thanks dijuremo. I removed the link because I don’t like images of drivers or people in distress being associated with the site. A youngster may be reading and could click-through only to be shocked by what they see.

    I’m sure if people want to see Massa being hauled out of his car with a deep cut to his left eye, then they can find it by searching Google.

    Appreciate the thoughts though as to why Massa kept the throttle planted.

  • I dont belive that Massa was hit by a part from the Brawn car !

    The spring is to big to go onto a F1 car and modern suspension

    on these cars use torsion bar and damper.

    My theroy is that the spring was from a previouse race ,Porsche

    for example.You can clearly see the Brawn is not in view ,its gone !

  • What I am amazed about is the Eddie Jordan comments – how can he say “from reliable sources I’ve heard that Felipe is ok and he took a knock on the chin”! Surely someone should pick him up on this as it is another comment / outburst with no concrete proof but just a thought in his head and he forgot to engage his brain!!

  • Maybe “spring” has been used as a term for the general public to understand? I am pretty sure an F1 car uses springs but not in the conventional way we have them on our road cars.

    No matter what it is, I think they need to clarify where it came from as this could be the end of Massa’s racing days!!

    However if it did come off a car from a previous race then Hungary will pay a big price for that mistake

  • Thanks James for your comment on the spring idea .Springs are to big

    to heavy and not accurate enough ! Having worked as a car engineer

    for three of the top teams i should know a little ! Should this thing come off the car infront then it would of shown,the Brawn continued at pace! If springs are being used, then a Mechanic could of left one on the lower wing during a set-up change !

  • Good link Gusto, so Mark how do you explain the clear spring in the gear box photo? I thought you said you worked on the 3 of the top teams as an engineer and should know a thing or two 😉

  • The thing that makes me go `For Gods sake` is that if you watch the trajectory of the spring it is coming from the left side of the track, its like it was bouncing off the track but like a rugby ball it just happenened to bounce back on.

  • It was a spring off Barichello’s Brawn, Ross Brawn even confirmed it was missing from his car afterwards. Its true that F1 cars dont have suspension in the respect a road car does but it still has a spring, in this case I think it connected the right and left suspension rods together, or was at least part of this connection.

  • I sure do hope that Felipe is alright. I dont know much about F1 but one things for sure that it is a real gamble on one’s life.

    Take care Felipe Massa.

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