Massa: I will be at the Brazilian Grand Prix 08 Sep 2009
Felipe Massa has vowed to attend his home race next month, even though he admits it will be tough to watch another driver at the wheel of his number-three Ferrari. Former Force India star Giancarlo Fisichella is replacing Massa for the final five races of 2009 as the Brazilian continues to recuperate from his Hungaroring accident.
Massa suffered a fractured skull after he was struck by a loose spring from another car during qualifying for Julys Hungarian Grand Prix and is expected to return to competition at the start of next season. He watched the following Valencia race and subsequent rounds on television, but plans to be at Interlagos - where he had hoped to make his F1 return.
"It will be much worse when I have to watch the race in Brazil, he told Britains Guardian newspaper. That was the race I wanted to come back in but it's difficult to say if it would've been possible. It will be difficult to watch it, but I will be there."
Last years Brazilian Grand Prix was the season finale and it was where Massa missed out on the title by a single point. Since his crash he admits simply being out of the car - and the title race - has been tough, and insists he has never doubted that he will return to the cockpit.
For me, the worst thing that happened was not being able to race, he said. If you can't drive that's terrible. But my wife has already asked me, at least 10 times, 'Are you sure you don't feel any doubts or worries?' Always, I say, 'No - because this is what I like to do.' If I don't drive then I am not the same person.
Ever since I was a small boy this is my life. This is what I like to do. So I really hope, and expect, nothing will change inside of me when I go back into the car and start pushing myself to the maximum again."
Massa was in Miami last week for further neurological tests. These confirmed the need for one more routine operation before he is able to begin preparations for his return to competition in earnest. He underwent that operation in Sao Paulos Albert Einstein hospital on Monday.
I need surgery to close a bone in my head that they had taken away because it was completely damaged, Massa explained. A normal guy can live like this without any problem. But for a driver, if you have an accident and you have this problem, the recovery is more difficult. That's why I need this surgery to close the bone.
According to Ferrari, the procedure, which took around four hours and 30 minutes, had a positive outcome. After a short stay in hospital Massa is expected to go home and start with his physical preparations.
I'm going to Europe to use the simulator and drive some go-karts and then I will know very well if I'm 100 percent," added Massa.