Zsolt Baumgartner will make his Formula One debut in front of his home crowd this afternoon [Saturday], having been drafted into the Jordan-Ford team as replacement for Ralph Firman, who has been ruled out of the weekend after his morning practice shunt.

Firman hit the barriers with some force after his EJ13 suffered a rear wing failure entering the back straight at the Hungaroring. Although lucid when helped to exit the shattered car, the Briton was taken to the circuit medical centre and then on to Budapest hospital for further checks. Doctors at Orszagos Traumatologiai Intezet hospital announced that the results of scans and x-rays were all clear, but that Firman had a severely bruised heel and a slight concussion, which mean that he will remain in hospital overnight for observation, prior to undergoing further scans in the morning.

Following consultation with FIA doctor Professor Sid Watkins, it was decided that Firman would not participate in either this afternoon's qualifying session or tomorrow's race.

"Ralph had a big accident, with huge lateral input into the barrier at high speed," Watkins commented, "He was briefly unconscious, but soon started to recover and was trying to get out of the car on his own. He was concussed, but soon recognised me and behaved normally.

"The fact that his head injury was so minor is a tribute to the construction of the car and the safety measures of the cockpit. The head and neck protective foam clearly absorbed a great deal of the energy.The introduction of the high side protective foam and the introduction of the HANS device have been a major step in improving the protection of the driver."

The Briton is apparently in good spirits and, should he feel well enough, plans to visit the track tomorrow to watch the race.

"I was going fine, had done a couple of laps and all I remember is suddenly knowing that something had happened - the car sped up and felt different, but I didn't know why," he said of the incident, "Then, almost instantly, I was spearing off the track.

"I can't really remember anything between that and being in the ambulance, but more of it is starting to come back to me. I feel absolutely great in the circumstances, and I'm just disappointed for the team and for myself that I'm missing this race.

"I was really enjoying the weekend, and I'm keen to get back out there and see everybody tomorrow - as well as concentrating on being fit for the Monza test. I have to thank the FIA and the team for their hard work on safety and also the circuit and hospital medical teams for looking after me so well."

The Jordan team has investigated the cause of the failure on Firman's car and, having asked team-mate Giancarlo Fisichella to sit out the remainder of the opening practice session, is satisfied that the risk of a recurrence is negligible.

Following the reports from the hospital, Jordan applied to the permanent bureau of the Formula One Commission in order to arrange a replacement for Firman, and the board unanimously agreed to issue Baumgartner with a superlicence based on his Formula One testing experience with the team this season. The FIA has permitted Jordan to enter Baumgartner as the driver of car #12 for the remainder of the weekend. The Hungarian has tested with team both at the German Grand prix and again this weekend, heading both Firman and Fisichella on the timesheets on Friday at the Hungaroring.