July 27, 2009

Massa said responding in hospital

Brazilian Formula One driver Felipe Massa is able to move his hands and legs and can communicate after a crash in Hungary, officials said Monday.

Massa fractured his skull in an accident Saturday in Budapest during qualifiers for the Formula One Hungarian Grand Prix and was taken to a military hospital where a Hungarian Defense Ministry spokesman told local television Massa is starting his recovery, the British newspaper The Guardian reported.

The spokesman, Istvan Bocskai, told viewers Massa, 28, was calm Sunday night, saying the results of an ultrasound examination were reassuring.

He's woken up (from sedation) more and more often now and he's able to communicate actively, that is, he reacts when he's talked to. We are optimistic, in our hope a slow recovery is beginning, Bocskai reportedly said, adding there are signs the driver's brain may not have suffered permanent damage.

In the second round of qualifying, Massa, driving his Ferrari, ran off the course in turn four and slammed head-on into the tire barrier after being struck on the head by a spring that came off the Brawn GP driven by Rubens Barrichello.