Burti opens up for the first time on the Spa crash that ended F1 career
1 September, 2012
Sep.1 (GMM) More than a decade after the fact, Luciano Burti has finally opened up about the crash at Spa-Francorchamps that ended his Formula One career and changed him as a person.
“It took me two years to get back to normal,” Burti, now a television pundit, said on Friday at the same Belgian circuit eleven years on.
He subsequently spent some time at Ferrari as a test driver, but never raced in F1 again.
“The worst was the first four months, when I needed to take medicine against seizures,” Burti told Brazil’s Totalrace.
“My memory of that time is terrible. It was a hell of a drug. I remember being confused, getting words wrong, saying ‘cut the light’ rather than ‘turn out the light’.”
Burti says he does not remember the race or the crash, his first memory being woken up from an induced coma three days later and finding that Rubens Barrichello had spent the night sleeping on the hospital floor.
“It was a time when I would remember things from ten years ago, but not what I did that morning,” said Burti. “I would see somebody in the morning and then in the afternoon say to them ‘Hi, it’s been so long!’
Burti contested 15 grands prix with Jaguar and Prost F1 teams, making his debut 2000 Austrian Grand Prix and racing his last race at Spa a year later.
Burti subsequently signed to test for the Ferrari team, but that came to an end at the end of his contract in 2004. He has since returned to Brazil, where he competes in Stock Car Brasil and commentates on Formula One races for TV Globo.
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