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Massa kept under sedation

FERRARI'S Felipe Massa will be kept under sedation for 48 hours after fracturing his skull in a freak accident at the Hungarian Grand Prix, a hospital doctor attending the Formula One driver said yesterday.

Peter Bazso said the 28-year-old Brazilian was in a stable condition after emergency surgery at Budapest's AEK military hospital on Saturday. A brain scan yesterday had produced reassuring results. "It brought the result that we had expected concerning an injury of this type," he said.

The doctor said Massa nonetheless remained in intensive care and in an "acute phase" of treatment.

He was woken from sedation briefly yesterday after family members arrived, but then put back. The doctor said Massa will remain in that state for 48 hours before being awakened again.

Last year's championship runner-up was flown to hospital after being hit on the head by bouncing debris from compatriot Rubens Barrichello's Brawn during Saturday's qualifying.

The accident, which is likely to rule Massa out of the next few races, brought back grim memories of the crash that killed compatriot and triple champion Ayrton Senna at Imola in 1994 and led to renewed concerns about safety.

Ferrari said in its own update yesterday morning that Massa's "condition remains stable and there were no further complications through the night."


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