Felipe Massa is back in the fast lane after his life-threatening crash at the Hungarian Grand Prix just nine weeks ago which placed his Formula One future in doubt.
The Brazilian has taken to the wheel of a kart in his home city of Sao Paulo, managing 60 laps of the Granja Viana circuit and is to continue the activity over the next few days. Massa suffered horrific head injuries in qualifying in Budapest after a spring from Rubens Barrichello’s Brawn GP car struck him in the head at high speed. He was airlifted from the circuit and spent several days in an induced coma before flying home to Brazil to continue his rehabilitation. Reports have suggested that Massa could return to Formula One at his home grand prix at Interlagos at the end of the current season, but a Ferrari spokesman told their official Web site that the stories were exaggerated.
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Luca Colajanni told www.ferrari.com. “Felipe’s recovery is proceeding in a very positive way, but there are no plans to accelerate his comeback.” But the Web site also reported that Massa is “intensifying his physical preparation” and revealed that after his karting experiment, the 28-year-old would fly to the team’s headquarters in Maranello to use the team’s static simulator. Three weeks ago, Massa had a titanium plate inserted into his skull at the point of impact where he was hit by the spring in the freak accident. His recovery is being closely monitored by his personal doctor Dino Altman, who watched him during his karting session on Tuesday. Massa has been sorely missed by Ferrari, who initially gave his place in the team to seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher. But the German legend could not shrug off a lingering neck problem and test driver Luca Badoer instead took his place. Badoer was way off the pace on his return to Formula One and has since been replaced by Giancarlo Fisichella, who left Force India to join Ferrari on a temporary basis until the end of the season.