As anyone who ever went through Driver’s Ed surely learned, distracted driving is dangerous driving. The same apparently holds true in Formula One racing, as Felipe Massa learned the hard way in qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix this morning. But instead of eating a Big Mac or trying to text while he was driving, Massa was struck in the head by a piece of debris while traveling down a high-speed front straight.
Massa may have been knocked out after being hit by what appeared in replays to be a spring from the car of Rubens Barrichello, but even if he wasn’t, the impact was enough to cause him to drive almost head-on into a tire barrier while going full speed. Massa was airlifted to the hospital, but the good news is that he’s reported to be in stable condition.
*UPDATE*: Things have taken a turn for the worse, as the AP is reporting that Massa has suffered a fractured skull and that his condition is “life-threatening,” although he has had surgery and is stable.
Video of the crash after the jump:
It’s hard to find any pro sport that’s not suffering from these hard economic times. And that goes for Formula One racing. Lagging ticket sales means car companies are starting to withdraw racing teams, such as what Honda did in December. And such ticket-selling shortfalls are causing races in France and Canada to be canceled.
On the other hand, it’s not easy to convince some people to show up and watch cars go ’round and ’round when it can cost up to $4,000 per ticket.
The answer to that, it seems, is a solid maybe. According to the AP, Danica Patrick is on a shortlist of potential drivers for a new, American-based Formula One team that is in creation in Charlotte. And Ken Anderson, the technical director of the new team (called USF1), says that Patrick is definitely under consideration for one of the team’s driver slots.
(Coming soon to a Formula One track near you … if you’re in Europe.)
If Anderson comes through with a multi-million dollar contract, she’ll probably be interested. Call it a hunch. And with an operating budget of $64 million, as well as the nearly limitless endorsement potential for a top F1 driver — former champion Michael Schumacher reportedly raked in $58 million in a season without breasts — it would seem to be as close to a no-brainer for Danica as you could come up with.
Love hurts: one of the Karolyis’ Romanian pupils has finally alleged abuse (physical and otherwise) against the first couple of prepubescent girl molding. Even though she apparently has corroborating evidence and thirty years’ separation from those training days, she didn’t step forward until this week. Bela Karolyi responded with typical affection: “Some of the girls have bad memories. Perhaps others say it was the best time of their lives.” Hey, if you’re training for gymnastics glory anyway, maybe you should just relax on the balance beam and enjoy it. Isn’t that right, Bela?
Formula One chief Bernie Ecclestone will now enjoy his own private life being dragged from its home, shoved into a box car full of paparazzi, and transported to a media circus camp as his wife files for divorce and dives in for a substantial slice of their nearly four million dollar fortune. Frankly, we see only one way to save Formula One and the San Diego Padres from having their fans crushed by these discordant marriages: spouse swapping. After all, role playing is right out.
A former South Korean baseball player turns a gig as chief cheerleader (from the stands) for the South Korean Olympic team into a hedonistic extended party with expensive hotels and ticket scalping with scant actual event attendance, all on the country’s won. Oh, and then his US$300,000 gambling debt came to light. It’s like Jose Canseco and Charles Barkley all rolled into one. Just another example of the decline of America.
(On the left. In Beijing. Not at an event.)
And so on:
- Apparently, “… when a girl (BEEP) in her pants and puts her pants on another girl’s head, that’s just disgusting” and it’s actionable criminally. Good to know.
- A boxer believes his other true calling could have been in the adult film industry. “I’ve already done some modelling for Playboy magazine and that went well.” Uhm… honey, do you remember which one has the naked girls and which one has the naked boys?
- Speaking of boxers, Floyd Mayweather makes it rain at the club and we just don’t care anymore. The previously mentioned boxer would be less overexposed even if he changed careers.
- Also dangerously close to the full media monty: check out Gilbert Arenas’ wax statue. Yes, we see it, Zero. We also think that figure will see more court time in 2008 and not cheat on defense as often. (Hurry back!)
- And can we just stop with the nude jogging priest stories? One cannot swing one’s Johnson without hitting such a story.
- You see, the Johnson is his penis.
- Chase Utley’s not hip to this jive: hip surgery will sideline him to start 2009. But the most pressing question: will he still be able to cuddle puppies? A furry world pants in anxiety.
- A fan of a rival soccer team sneaks his team’s name into the bricks in front of the stadium he’s helping build and no one notices for four years. Did you ever think of that, New Yankee Stadium loudmouth?
- The Japanese men’s golf tour is blowing up. Watch for debris.
- And finally, a U of FL poli sci major gets his undies in an uproar about a Ticketmaster foul-up that kept him from buying SEC championship tickets and responds in true protest fashion: a Facebook group. “To be screwed over by this stupid glitch, I mean, just makes me furious. It’s like a slap in the face, especially to outgoing seniors.” Not the $74 in service fees? This is your greatest offense? This reminds us of a humorous aside: why is a poli sci major like a cowbell? Both can only be enjoyed when you’re beating them with a stick. (Sorry for stealing your gymnastics joke, Bela!)
Singapore could not be happier to be hosting their first Formula One Grand Prix in these harsh economic times, hopefully coaxing in those hard-earned tourism dollars lost once it became clear that Gary Glitter wouldn’t be joining them for a cup of lightly-aged tea. Where does Singapore turn in this dark hour to lure the high-end vacationer to see their putt-putt race?
Why, escort services, of course. In fact, it would appear that the escort industry (and we can’t tell you how difficult it was not to use the sarcasm quotes back there) will thrive all weekend on the two industries that have managed to come out well in this rather sharp and steep economic downturn:
“This is the best weekend this year,” Prince Wong, owner of Singapore Escort Services, told THE STRAITS TIMES… Wong, who said his clients are foreign bosses in the gas and banking industries, declined to reveal the identity of both client and escort.
Well, okay… the one industry that’s made out like bandits and the other that will do so shortly on the backs of world taxpayers, especially American ones. You get the idea. Still, we wonder how Singapore found itself the recipient of a Formula One race for the first time. Is it possible Mr. Wong managed to find Nazi costumes for his girls?