Wilson Fittipaldi in medical coma following cardiac arrest

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Former Brazilian F1 driver Wilson Fittipaldi Jr., the younger brother of three-time F1 World Champion Emerson Fittipaldi, is in hospital after suffering a cardiac arrest on Christmas day.

The former Brabham driver, who was celebrating his 80th birthday on Christmas day, is currently sedated and intubated in a hospital in Brazil, where he is being treated for his condition.

His wife, Rita Fittipaldi, has shared updates on his condition on social media, thanking fans for their support.

"During dinner, he choked on a piece of meat and suffered a lack of oxygen followed by cardiac arrest," Rita Fittipaldi wrote on Instagram.

"He was resuscitated and is now sedated and intubated, we are waiting for him to wake up. He has a difficult post-surgical history of returning post-sedative, one day at a time, let's wait.

"Yesterday I received countless phone calls and kind messages of support for the whole family," she added.

"I appreciate all the messages, I know they are the ones that give us strength in this very difficult time. Continue the positive vibes of health and restoration for Wilsinho. God will make the best."

Fittipaldi Jr. began his F1 career in 1972 with Brabham, where he scored two podium finishes. He also raced for Fittipaldi Automotive, the team founded by his brother Emerson and himself.

Fittipaldi Jr. retired from Formula 1 in 1975 and later competed in the Brazilian Stock Car Championship. He is a member of the FIA Hall of Fame and is considered one of the greatest Brazilian racing drivers of all time.

The Brazilian F1 community has come together to support Wilson Fittipaldi Jr. and his family during this difficult time. Many drivers and team personnel have shared their prayers and well wishes on social media.

"Please send positive vibes to Wilson Fittipaldi Jr. and his family," former F1 driver Felipe Massa wrote on Twitter. "We are all with you, Wilsinho."

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