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Massa positive after Miami tests, but 2009 return unlikely 01 Sep 2009

Felipe Massa (BRA) Ferrari.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 3, Chinese Grand Prix, Practice Day, Shanghai, China, Friday, 17 April 2009 Felipe Massa (BRA) Ferrari F2009.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 3, Chinese Grand Prix, Practice Day, Shanghai, China, Friday, 17 April 2009 Felipe Massa (BRA) Ferrari.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 3, Chinese Grand Prix, Practice Day, Shanghai, China, Friday, 17 April 2009 Luca Badoer (ITA) Ferrari F60.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 12, Belgian Grand Prix, Race, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, Sunday, 30 August 2009

Ferrari’s Felipe Massa is flying back home to Brazil after completing a thorough medical examination in the United States. Massa met with Professor Steve Olvey, head of the Jackson Memorial Hospital Neuroscience Intensive Care Unit, in Miami on Monday, as he continues to recover from the injuries he sustained during qualifying for July’s Hungarian Grand Prix.

Massa suffered a fractured skull after being hit by a spring that had come loose from another driver’s car. After completing a range of tests at the Miami hospital, the Brazilian has been told that his recuperation is progressing well.

Over the next few days he will undergo further surgery on the area of his skull damaged during the accident. Once he has recovered from the operation, he is expected to resume his training programme.

“I’m very happy about the results,” Massa told Ferrari’s official website. “After a small operation over the next few days, I can finally start to go to the gym to get back into shape and drive some tests in karts. As for returning to the track in a Formula One single-seater, let’s take it step by step. At the moment I’m concentrating on starting my physical preparations, which is a great step forward.”

In light of the news, Ferrari revealed that they were very pleased with Massa’s progress, and added that they were looking forward to the Brazilian returning to Formula One racing at the start of the 2010 season. “The results have been received with great joy at Maranello,” said the statement, “with the prospect that the team can count on Felipe 100 percent for the start of next season.”

Long-time Ferrari test driver Luca Badoer has filled in for Massa at the last two races, but has struggled to make much of an impression. There has been growing speculation that he will be replaced by another driver at the forthcoming Italian Grand Prix, with Ferrari expected to make a decision on their Monza line-up later this week.