Felipe Massa vowed to return to Formula One "as soon as possible" as he left hospital in Hungary to fly home to Brazil after his horror crash last weekend.
Massa suffered “life threatening” injuries as his Ferrari careered off in final qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix at 200kph and slammed into a tire barrier. He spent two days in an induced coma after emergency surgery for a fractured skull and brain concussion and there were fears he would not be able to drive again. Massa was the victim of a freak accident, with a spring from the Brawn GP of compatriot Rubens Barrichello bouncing off the track before smashing into his helmet. He was knocked out and told the official Ferrari Web site www.ferrari.com that he had no recollection of the accident. “It is sort of a strange feeling. I know exactly what happened, but I didn’t feel anything when it happened,” he said. “They told me that I lost consciousness at the moment of the spring’s impact on my helmet and I ran into the barriers, then I woke up in hospital two days later. “I don’t remember anything and that’s why what the doctors did had to be explained to me,” he added.
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Massa left the AEK military hospital in Budapest with his wife Raffaela and his personal doctor Dino Altmann. He will recuperate at home in Sao Paolo and his place at the European Grand Prix in Valencia in three weeks time will be taken by 40-year-old F1 legend Michael Schumacher, a decision with which Massa fully agrees. “He knows how to win, he knows how to drive and he’s great: it was the best choice handing over the car to such a fantastic person and I’m sure that everybody will be happy to see him back on the track again,” he said. Massa’s teammate Kimi Raikkonen finished second in last Sunday’s race, Ferrari’s best result of a difficult season, and the 28-year-old Massa is itching to return to action.
“I’m feeling much better now and I want to recover as soon as possible to get back behind the wheel of a Ferrari,” he said. Massa finished second to Hungary winner Lewis Hamilton in last year’s world championship and has 11 career wins in Formula One.