It was a freak accident that almost killed Felipe Massa. During a Formula 1 qualifying lap last year in Hungary, a spring from Reubens Barrichello’s car struck the Ferrari driver in the helmet, knocking him unconscious and fracturing his skull. The Brazilian racer went through surgery to repair his damaged skull and was later brought into a medically-induced coma to help him recover. There was some speculation as to whether Massa would ever drive again.
One year later, Massa is racing for Ferrari again, though with less success than he saw in 2008, when he was the runner-up to Lewis Hamilton for the Drivers Championship. Last weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix was Massa’s first trip back to the scene of his accident (he finished in 4th place), and CNN interviewed him to see how the event has changed him. On the track, Massa says that little if anything has changed, but when the helmet is off, he claims to be a very different man.
“It made me value life much more than before, and I appreciate the ordinary things in life 10 times more, and it has put life and my health in perspective, not taking anything for granted and not just for me, but also for life in general and what it means to everyone.” Those are the words of a man happy to be alive, and his recently renewed contract with Ferrari should make him happier still. Head over to CNN to read the interview in full.