More than a decade after the fact, Luciano Burti has finally opened up about the crash at Spa-Francorchamps that ended his F1 career.
During the 2001 race, the Brazilian was battling with Eddie Irvine when they collided, sending Burti’s Prost head-first into the barriers at a sickening speed.
“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. And when he finally returned to Brazil, he was not the same.
“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!’