JULY 23, 2002
Fisichella should be fit for Hockenheim
GIANCARLO FISICHELLA missed the French GP at Magny-Cours after a heavy accident on Saturday morning. Fisichella ran over a curb in the Estoril corner and it seems that high frequency vibrations caused the front wing of the car to fall off and go beneath the wheels of the Jordan-Honda. That meant that Fisichella had neither steering nor front brakes and the car hit the wall on the outside of the corner at around 130mph.
Fortunately for Fisichella the car hit the penultimate stack of tires and so avoided a direct impact with the concrete wall. In the accident Fisichella suffered a small cut to one finger and two blows to the head. These left him with a concussion, a fact confirmed to Professor Sid Watkins when Fisichella was unable to remember anything about the crash.
Fisichella was then sent off to Nevers hospital for a brain scan to check that he had suffered no problems. It was then decided that it would be best for Fisichella to sit out the rest of the meeting.
While this may seem like a harsh decision for the team a $3m five-year study at the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University is expected to reveal shortly just how important a decent recovery time is for those who suffer from a concussion. Mark Lovell, a neuropsychologist and director of the UPMC Center for Sports Medicine, is involved in the project and has worked closely with drivers in CART and IRL to monitor concussions.
The report is expected to confirm the danger of secondary concussion, which can kill or cause permanent brain damage.
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