Rubens Barrichello has revealed the reasons he underwent emergency surgery earlier this year, insisting he was lucky to still be alive.
The 45-year-old former F1 driver, a veteran of 323 Grands Prix, said he was rushed to a Florida hospital back in January after collapsing in his shower. A diagnosis revealed a brain tumor and the necessity for an immediate surgical procedure.
"Suddenly I felt a sharp pain in my head," explained Barrichello in an emotional interview with Brazil's Globo.
"It seemed to be exploding, I had to fall on the ground and only after a few minutes I managed to reach my wife Silvana to ask for help.
"I immediately realised that it was a serious problem.
"Then we called a doctor we're friends with, and fortunately he immediately recognised the seriousness of the situation. I had incredible luck.
"Shortly afterwards I was already in the operating room. Later, the doctors told me that, on average, only one in seven patients recover from this problem.
"I was afraid that I would not be allowed to race again, but fortunately that's not the case."
Barrichello hinted at the ordeal when he posted a picture from his hospital bed on social media, but without offering any details on his plight.
Fortunately, the 11-time Grand Prix winner is now fit and well, and out of harm's way.