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Barbazza getting better

Former F1 racer Fabrizio Barbazza remains in hospital in Gainesville, Georgia, recovering from a dreadful accident last week during an IMSA race at Road Atlanta. The Italian had spun his Ferrari sportscar to a standstill when he was hit at high speed by Canadian Jeremy Dale.

Initially there were fears for both Barbazza and Dale. The Italian suffered head and chest injuries which left him in a critical condition on artificial respiration and in a coma; Dale suffered multiple leg injuries.

Barbazza came out of his coma on Friday but is still in a serious condition. One of his lungs has been too badly damaged to repair and the other was badly punctured. Dale only narrowly avoided having to have one of his feet amputated.

Barbazza was a popular F1 driver, although he never really achieved as much as he should have done. He was with the AGS team in 1991 but never managed to qualify the outclassed French machines. In 1993, however, he found backing from the Beta tool company and drove for Minardi, finishing in the points twice in his first four races - an impressive record.

Barbazza is better known in America where he won the 1986 American Racing Series and finished third in the 1987 Indianapolis 500 in his first visit to the Speedway. He was also CART Rookie of the Year that year.

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