Failure on Barrichello’s Brawn car caused Massa injury

A rear spring flew off Barrichello's Brawn and struck Massa in the head. "Something broke on my car," said Barrichello, "but I don't know what. We need to sit down and have a look at it. I think the cars are a hell of a lot safer, really a lot safer, but there is no coincidence on this and something needs to be looked at."

Barrichello later led the calls for more stringent safety measures to be looked into. Referring to Surtees, the veteran Brazilian refused to believe the two incidents were coincidental.

"I honestly don't believe in coincidences in life," he said. "Things happen for a reason and I think this is the second message. Imola, where Ayrton Senna died in 1994, was a message and the cars were improved. Unfortunately, we lost Surtees, which is tremendously sad. It is not a coincidence something happened right now. In the GPDA (Grand Prix Drivers' Association) we talked quite a lot about it yesterday – and something needs to be done. Absolutely.

Lewis Hamilton described the crash as "very scary" and said it must be looked into, while Jenson Button said it proved there "is still more we need to do on safety".

Button and Barrichello's team boss Ross Brawn said the team were "naturally concerned" about Massa's condition.

"We had a problem with the back of the car and we are still investigating," he added. "We haven't had the piece back from motorsport governing body the FIA yet so once we get it back we can understand what occurred. It's the first time we've really had a problem with the car as it's been so reliable."

McLaren team boss Martin Whitmarsh added: "What happened today was a shock. We've got to make sure we do everything we can to make F1 as safe as it can be. But a spring coming off and being in a collision four seconds later is an incredible circumstance and coincidence. You have to remember that motor racing is dangerous and that racing drivers are incredibly brave. It's all too easy to become blasé about that."

In his blog, former ITV commentator James Allen reported that 'I've spoken to someone who has held the spring in question and it is around five inches long, coiled metal and quite heavy. Massa is incredibly lucky to have survived an impact like that with only light injuries.'

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