Ruben Barrichello has confirmed he underwent a successful surgery on a tumour discovered in his neck after falling ill earlier this year but is recovering well.

Last February, Barrichello was rushed to hospital in Flordia suffering from severe headaches which was later diagnosed as a tumour in his neck.

The former Formula 1 race winner says it is “a miracle” he’s still alive and returning to full health after being told by doctors a small percentage of people recover without any post-surgery issues.

“It is a miracle that I am still alive. The doctors have told me: Only 14 percent of sufferers live completely normal afterwards,” Barrichello told Pedro Bial’s talk show on TV Globo. “One morning in the shower I felt a sharp pain in my head. My head felt like it was exploding.

“I had to sit down. It took me a few minutes to reach my wife Silvana and ask for help. The pain was unbearable, and I knew straight away that I had a serious problem.

“Then we called a doctor we're friends with, and fortunately he immediately recognised the seriousness of the situation. I had incredible luck. Shortly afterwards I was already in the operating room. Later, the doctors told me that, on average, only one in seven patients recover from this problem. I was afraid that I would not be allowed to race again, but fortunately that's not the case.”

Barrichello says he has a large scare from the surgery on his neck but is expected to make a full recovery.

The former Ferrari and Brawn F1 driver, who claimed 11 Grand Prix wins in his career, is competing in the 2018 Stock Car Brasil championship with Full Time Sports Chevrolet. Last year Barrichello made his Le Mans 24 Hours debut with Racing Team Nederland.