The wife of Formula One driver Felipe Massa spoke with her husband at a hospital in Hungary,saying she believes he will return to racing despite having been near death for two days following a high-speed crash.
Raffaela,Massa’s wife who is six-months pregnant,told the Globo news channel that the Brazilian’s condition has improved.
“He is doing good … soon he will be giving joy to all in his little red car on the speedway,” she said. “I would like to thank all the fans for your prayers. It’s really helping with the recuperation of our Felipe.”
Massa’s accident during qualifying Saturday for the Hungarian Grand Prix revived grim memories for many Brazilians. In 1994,three-time F1 champion and fellow Brazilian Ayrton Senna crashed and died at Imola. His death put the country into a prolonged state of national mourning.
Newspapers carried banner headlines and television reports provided detailed coverage of Massa’s crash. A day after the accident,the Rio de Janeiro daily Extra’s front page read: “Brazil Prays for Massa.”
Massa’s skull was fractured after he was hit in the helmet by a loose part from another car. Robert Veres,the neurosurgeon who operated on Massa,said Monday his life was no longer in danger,although the damage may have ended his F1 career.
Massa’s father,Luiz Antonio,said his son’s crash was “tough news to digest,but fortunately the worst has passed and he is recovering well.”
After seeing his son in Hungary,Luiz Antonio expressed his appreciation “for the affection of all the fans.”
“I’d only ask that you all keep cheering and praying for him. I’m certain here shortly he’ll return to the racetrack,” he said.
Dudu Massa,Felipe’s brother,also in Hungary,added: “Thank God,Felipe is getting better. What is important is that everybody keeps supporting him,that this prayer chain in Brazil grows. Keep on with the faith soon you’ll see him driving again.”
The 28-year-old driver finished second in last year’s championship in a season that came down to the final turn during the Brazilian Grand Prix last November in his hometown of Sao Paulo.
The effort further endeared him to a Brazilian racing community that has not had a native F1 champion since Senna in 1991. Alexander Silva,a 25-year-old butcher,stood outside a news-stand in Rio reading the latest headlines about the driver.