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Massa’s F1 future in doubt

Doctors treating Brazilian Formula One driver Felipe Massa have said that there has been a significant improvement in the Ferrari driver's condition,who is now awake and has been talking to family members.

Doctors treating Brazilian Formula One driver Felipe Massa have said that there has been a significant improvement in the Ferrari driver’s condition,who is now awake and has been talking to family members.

AEK military hospital chief surgeon Lajos Zsiros said on Monday that Massa is breathing unassisted and no longer on artificial ventilation. He is also moving his limbs and has had a drain from his skull wound removed. Zsiros said that Massa is “sleepy but he gives adequate and spontaneous answers to questions we ask him… further improvement of his condition can be expected.”

However,Robert Veres,the neurosurgeon treating Massa said that though his life is no longer in danger,the damage to his eye and other injuries could prevent him from returning to Formula One. “I don’t know (if he can return),” Veres said. “It’s too early to say anything concerning his future,regarding the race,” Veres said.

Ferrari president Luca di Montezemelo,meanwhile,has said that Ferrari’s first priority was undoubtedly Massa’s health but that the Italian team doesn’t “want to wait too long” to decide on finding a driving replacement.

Positive signs

Earlier in the day,doctors said that the Brazilian had made “passive communication,” and medical scans provided “positive signs.” Massa is being treated at the AEK military hospital and department of defence ministry spokesman Istvan Bocskai said Massa was not speaking but reacted when spoken to and was moving his hands and feet.

Massa was in “life-threatening” but stable condition following surgery for multiple skull injuries sustained during a violent crash on Saturday. Bocskai said that military hospital doctors were “reassured” after no complications were uncovered by a CT scan. An ultrasound on Sunday night to check on internal injuries revealed “nothing that would give cause for concern.”

F1’s governing body is investigating the crash,which comes amid a string of safety mishaps. An F2 driver was killed six days earlier after being struck in the head by a loose tyre from another car and crashing into a barrier at English circuit Brands Hatch.

Renault suspended

Motorsport authorities also suspended Renault from the next round of the championship for jeopardising Fernando Alonso’s safety when they failed to inform the two-time world champion of a wheel nut problem at Budapest. Alonso’s wheel subsequently came off and bounced wildly down the track during the race.

Organisers of the European GP,however,want the authorities to rescind Renault’s suspension so that Fernando Alonso can compete in his native Spain. “We think they should think of the fans,many of which have obviously bought tickets to see Fernando Alonso race in Valencia,” Jorge Aspar,vice president of Valmor Sports,said.

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No Formula One driver has died on the track since Ayrton Senna’s crash at Imola 15 years ago.