SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS, BELGIUM - SEPTEMBER 02:  GP von BELGIEN 2001, Spa Francorchamps; AUTOWRACK von Luciano BURTI/BRA - PROST -  (Photo by Sandra Behne/Bongarts/Getty Images)

’s wrecked Prost is towed away after a high-speed accident at the 2001 Belgian Grand Prix. (Photo: Sandra Behne/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Luciano Burti’s career came to an abrupt end on the fifth lap of the 2001 Belgian Grand Prix, after an attempted pass on Eddie Irvine in the blanchimont turn led to a head-on collision into the tire barriers.

Now, 13 years later, the helmet that helped save his life has been returned to him, with the mud and dirt from the accident still plastered over it.

Burti has since returned to his home country and continues to race, competing in the Stock Car Brasil series since 2005.

He also commentates to Formula 1 races for TV Globo, where he broke the helmet story Wednesday, sharing images of his returned helmet.

“It is still a trophy,” Burti told “Many people may think that the helmet is a negative memory of the accident. But I see the bright side: it saved my life.”

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