After a rather worrying start to the Hungaroring weekend for the Formula One paddock, Lewis Hamilton managed to stage a stunning upset in winning his first race this year. Unfortunately, celebration of such a fantastic victory was somewhat muted due to Felipe Massa’s accident. More below.
With the whole of Formula One about to go on summer break for 4 weeks before staging the European Grand Prix, everyone’s got time to consider the news that Felipe Massa may not race again. He’s awake and is able to talk and move all of his limbs, but the doctor in charge of his care in Hungary has ruled out a return to F1 for at least the remainder of the 2009 season—and possibly forever. He cautions that nothing is definite, and that there’s no way of telling what the future will hold once Massa’s injuries have healed; however, since he did receive some rather serious damage to his eye, his racing career may unfortunately be compromised to the point of nonexistence.
In other news from this weekend’s race that may directly impact what we see on the grid at Valencia in 4 weeks’ time, Renault has been banned from competing in the European GP. You may recall the wheel nut on Fernando Alonso’s right front wheel not being tightened down all the way after a pit stop during the race, which led to his right front wheel coming loose and bouncing away. Following the horrible accident that claimed the life of Sir John Surtees’ son Henry during a Formula Two race at Brands Hatch one week ago (which came about due to an untethered wheel), tensions regarding racing safety are at an all-time high.
Renault’s banning has raised a few questions: one, is this some sort of revenge against Flavio Briatore for being so outspoken regarding the proposed regulations changes for 2010? Two, will this violate Fernando Alonso’s contract with Renault, wherein they’re pledged to guarantee him a ride in every race of the 2009 season? And three…with speculation already being rife that he may switch to Ferrari for 2010, is there any possibility at all that Alonso might run at Valencia as a replacement for the injured Massa?
We know we’re just a drop in the bucket, but CarEnvy.ca’s thoughts are with Massa and his family in this difficult time, and wish all the best for his safe and speedy recovery. We also hope fervently that this isn’t the last we’ll see of Massa on the racetrack, because he was always a great competitor to watch—for one thing, people will be talking about the last race of 2008 for many years to come.