Fittipaldi 'stable' after operation for leg fractures

Pietro Fittipaldi (BRA)
© XPB 

Brazilian driver Pietro Fittipaldi is reported to be well and his condition stable following a huge crash in qualifying for the 6 Hours of Spa Francorchamps world endurance race.

The #10 DragonSpeed BR Engineering BR1 car went off track at the high-speed Raidillon corner during the LMP1 time trials on Friday afternoon, and crashed at Eau Rouge.

The grandson of two-time Formula 1 champion Emerson Fittipaldi was at the wheel of the time, and suffered injuries to both legs.

Fittipaldi was reported to be conscious throughout. He was attended immediately by the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps Medical Services and by FIA Medical Delegate Jacques Tropenat.

Once extracted from the car, he was taken by helicopter to the Centre Hospitalier de la Citadelle de Liège. He was accompanied by the DragonSpeed Team Manager Elton Julian.

Fittipaldi was operated on overnight for fractures to both his legs. An official statement from the FIA medical delegate reported that "the operation went well".

His left leg had suffered a complex fracture, and was satisfactorily operated upon. He was reported to be completely conscious on exiting the Operating Suite and able to describe what had happened to him.

His father Gugu da Cruz was with him throughout the night. The 21-year-old driver left intensive care at 10:30am on Saturday and will remain under observation at the hospital.

This weekend would have marked Fittipaldi's WEC debut, as stand-in for Renger van der Zande. He had already taken part in his first IndyCar event last month at Phoenix with Dale Coyne Racing.

He had been planning on taking part in the Indianapolis 500 at the end of May. However an estimated eight week recuperation and rehabilitation ahead of him means that this is almost certainly now ruled out.

Fittipaldi has previously competed in FIA European Formula 3 and World Series Formula V8 3.5. He made his début in the Japanese Super Formula at Suzuka two weeks ago. His next outing for Team LeMans isn't until early July at Fuji.

The extensive damage to the DragonSpeed car means that the team has been forced to pull out of today's WEC race. The LMP1 field is now down to just seven cars.

After Fittipaldi's crash, Toyota took the top two positions on the grid at Spa. However the #7 car was subsequently excluded for fuel irregularities, leaving the #8 car driven by Fernando Alonso on pole.

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