Seriously injured Brazilian Grand Prix driver Felipe Massa has suffered eye damage, neurosurgeon Professor Robert Veres who operated on the driver said on Monday.
The Ferrari driver suffered skull and eye injuries when he was hit on the head by a spring that broke loose from compatriot Rubens Barrichello’s Brawn car during qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix on Saturday.
Asked whether Massa’s eye suffered damage in the accident, Veres said: “I am sure but we do not know the extent (of the damage) yet.”
“We can say that the immediate life-threatening condition has been averted but a complication could make it life-threatening again,” Robert Veres, the doctor who performed surgery on Massa, told a news conference.
Earlier, a Hungarian defense ministry spokesman revealed that Massa was now able to communicate with movements when woken up.
“Massa is now woken up increasingly often and is capable of active communication, giving feedback by moving his legs and hands. This is certainly a good sign,” Istvan Bocskai said on state television channel m1.
The 28-year-old - winner of 11 Grand Prix and the world championship runner-up in 2008 - was hit by debris in his helmet just above his left eye at around 275 kph.
Massa was airlifted to a hospital run by the defence ministry and underwent surgery for skull damage immediatelly.
The Ferrari driver has been kept in an induced coma since then to help his body to get through the postoperative phase of 48 hours but was woken up from time to time to get information on his condition.
Bocskai said a slow recovery was about to start although “this is not the phase yet when this can be stated as a certainity”. A test to determine if water had accumulated in his bowels was negative, Bocskai said, adding the results were “reassuring”.
On Sunday, Massa underwent a computed tomography (CT) scan to determine if cerebral damage had occurred.
Asked whether the driver suffered brain injuries, Bocskai said: “The doctors did not observe any signs from the CT to confirm (an injury).”
Massa is to undergo another brain scan Monday and an update on his condition will be issued later, ministry spokeswoman Andrea Nagy said.