Broken Ankle for Ferrari's Chief Mechanic
Monday May 8th, 2000
Nigel Stepney, Ferrari's chief mechanic who was injured while refuelling Michael Schumacher's car in Sunday's Spanish Grand Prix has a broken ankle, Ferrari said on Monday.
A spokesman said the injury, which was worse than first thought, was discovered after Stepney was flown for treatment to a hospital in Paris.
"There were no X-Ray facilities in Barcelona yesterday. It's a normal fracture, and he'll be out of action for four weeks, but he'll be back in (Ferrari's Italian headquarters) Maranello tomorrow," the team spokesman said.
Stepney was apparently hit by a rear wheel of the car during Schumacher's first pit stop at the race on Sunday.
Television replays suggested the former double world champion was mistakenly given the all-clear to rejoin the race before the refuelling nozzle had been fully detached.
Stepney reappeared in a wheelchair with his left leg in a cast but said he thought he had a stretched or broken ligament.
Ferrari declined to comment on Monday on the exact cause of the accident, saying it was still being investigated.
Stepney was treated at the same Paris hospital and by the same doctor as Schumacher visited when he broke his leg at the British Grand Prix last season.