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Rigon set to return home after successful op

10 May 2011

Davide Rigon's surgery for multiple fractures to the tibia and fibula of his left leg has been declared a success.

"The surgery went very well," said Rigon's manager John Minardi. "David should go back to Italy this weekend."

It took three and a half hours on Monday to stabilise the compound fracture, which involved inserting 21 pins into the damaged areas. That underlines the severity of the damage done to Rigon's leg when suspension components were driven into the driver safety cell by the force of the impact of Rigon's car against the pit wall.

Rigon sustained the injuries during a crash five laps before the end of the GP2 European series sprint race at Istanbul Park, Turkey on Sunday. Although he initially appeared to stand up in the cockpit after the accident, he immediately sat back down again and signalled for assistance, and the safety car came out for a lengthy period while medics - including those from the Ferrari F1 team - attended the scene.

The surgical team undertaking the delicate stabilisation and reconstruction procedure was led by Professor Semih Takka at the Anadolu Medical Center, Turkey. Rigon is now recuperating at the hospital before hopefully being allowed to leave Istanbul and return to his home in Vicenzo, northern Italy at the weekend.

Doctors are still cautious about the outlook for the 25-year-old Italian, and Rigon's manager John Minardi says it will still be some time before there will be a clear picture on how long the recovery and rehabilitation process will take.

However, it's thought that Rigon could be out of racing for at least six months while he recuperates.

Rigon, who signed up for Coloni just days before the ill-fated opening round of the GP2 series at Turkey, is also a test and development driver for Ferrari, and the team's doctors and medical team were immediately in attendance at the accident on Sunday. Minardi singled out the Ferrari personnel for praise and for thanks on behalf of Rigon.

"It's a real shame that Davide's racing season has started like this,” said Ferrari F1 team principal Stefano Domenicali in response. "He's a great lad who was doing a valuable job for us on the simulator and on behalf of everyone in the Scuderia, I wish him a speedy recovery: forza Davide. And let's see you back on track soon!"

"He was doing precious work for us in the simulator," agreed Ferrari's Grand Prix driver Fernando Alonso. "I'm very sorry for him and we hope that he recovers soon."

The accident happened after Rigon was spun on the main straight by Rapax driver Julian Leal, who has since been handed a ten grid position penalty for the next GP2 event (the Barcelona feature race that will take place in two weeks) after race officials judged him to have caused an avoidable accident.

It's understandably still too early for Coloni to have made any announcements over what they intend to do regarding replacing Rigon for the next GP2 event.


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