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Sunday, July 11, 1999 Published at 14:02 GMT 15:02 UK

Leg surgery for Schumacher

Schumacher is stretchered off the track

Michael Schumacher is recovering in hospital after crashing out on the first lap of the British Grand Prix at Silverstone.

Ferrari spokesman: "He has damaged his lower right leg"
The former world champion broke his right leg and also injuried his left leg.

Schumacher's brakes appeared to lock as he left the track at about 150mph (225kph), thumping into a tyre-wall barrier.

Moments earlier, officials had signalled the race to stop after two cars stalled on the starting grid.

Clearly conscious

Emergency crews moved in and surrounded the Ferrari driver with sight screens as they helped him from his damaged car.

[ image: The wreckage of Schumacher's Ferrari]
The wreckage of Schumacher's Ferrari
The 30-year-old German was stretchered off the track and was airlifted to Northampton General Hospital where his right leg was operated on.

David Wilson, the hospital's chief executive, said: "He was assessed by the surgical team and found to have just a straightforward fracture of the right tibia and fibula.

"The operation was successful and he is now recovering on the ward. We expect to keep him in overnight."

The race eventually restarted 40 minutes late, while medics established if Schumacher could continue and the mangled wreckage of his car was removed from the track.

Second crash

It is the second crash this season for the German driver. In the Canadian Grand Prix last month he emerged unscathed after smashing into barriers while leading the race.

The safety car was out again within minutes of the restart after an Arrows car stalled on the starting grid.

Scot David Coulthard won the race with Northern Ireland's Eddie Irvine second.

Schumacher's younger brother Ralf was third.

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