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BBC Sport's Colin Maitland
"Coulthard said the incident shouldn't cause motorsport bosses to reduce speeds"
 real 14k

Monday, 3 September, 2001, 07:51 GMT 08:51 UK
Burti 'recovering well'
Luciano Burti's car is left in a mangled state
Burti's car skidded off on the fifth lap
Luciano Burti is "recovering well" in hospital as Formula One gives thanks for the safety improvements that saved his life.

The Formula One driver hit a tyre barrier at 180mph in Sunday's Belgian Grand Prix but looks to have escaped serious injury.

The Cambridge-based Brazilian suffered bruising but no swelling to the brain in the horrific crash at Spa.

His Prost car hit a wall of rubber after shooting off the circuit following a collision with former Jaguar Racing team-mate Eddie Irvine.


He is recovering really fast
Prost team spokesman on Burti

He is likely to remain in hospital until the end of the week, the Prost team said on Monday.

A Prost team spokeswoman told Autosport magazine that Burti would remain under observation for the next few days.

"He is recovering really fast and woke up normally by himself this morning," she said.

"He will stay in hospital in Liege until the end of the week and possibly over the weekend."

Burti is unlikely to compete in the Italian Grand Prix at Monza on 16 September 16.

Formula 3000 driver Tomas Enge of the Czech Republic is one of the drivers in line to partner German Heinz-Harald Frentzen for the race weekend.

Enge will begin a three-day test for Prost at the Magny-Cours circuit in France on Wednesday in an attempt to land the temporary drive.


In previous years Luciano's accident would have been fatal
David Coulthard

Britain's David Coulthard, who finished second to Michael Schumacher believes Burti would have lost his life but for the safety improvements.

"In previous years Luciano's accident would have been fatal," said Coulthard, a member of the Grand Prix Drivers' Association which works with organisers to improve safety.

"We (GPDA) have suggested changes were made and they have been and we are continuing to make further suggestions.

Serious injury

As long as we can have these accidents in Formula One and the drivers walk away it shows that we are doing a good job."

Irvine, whose car was also left in pieces, was the first on the scene and helped marshals pull away the tyres from Burti.

"He hit the wall very hard indeed," said Irvine of the accident after Burti tried to overtake him at Blanchimont, one of the fastest parts of the circuit.

"It is astonishing he is okay.

"The head and neck restraint system played a key role in saving Luciano from serious injury.


It is a miracle that he is now out of danger
Alain Prost

"I was the first on the scene and his head was literally pushed over to one side with the weight of the tyres.

"The head and neck restraint system obviously absorbed the impact of the tyres."

Burti, who made his debut in Austria last year when Irvine pulled out through illness, was air-lifted to Liege's University Hospital.

Team boss Alain Prost said: "It is a miracle that he is now out of danger considering the violence of the impact.

"We have been really frightened by Luciano's accident."

Links to more Formula One stories are at the foot of the page.

 

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