Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro driver Felipe Massa has been released from the AEK military hospital in Budapest and is now flying back to his native Brazil. After a horrendous accident during the Hungarian Grand Prix qualifying on 25 July 2009 saw him incur skull fracture and concussion, the Brazilian driver has been recovering at an astonishing pace. After nine days of treatment at the hospital, the doctors saw him fit enough to be able to fly back home. Earlier this morning, he was taken to Budapest airport by ambulance from the hospital and there he boarded a medically equipped private plane accompanied by his pregnant wife Rafaela and his private doctor Dino Altmann.
After arriving in Sao Paolo, Massa is scheduled to be taken to the local Albert Einstein hospital. He will stay at the hospital for a couple of days to undergo further tests and after that will be allowed to go home where he can start his recovery. In recent days, Massa has been quoted in several press reports as to be "very eager" to come back to racing. Although his condition has improved dramatically over the last few days, doctors say that it will still be quite a long time until he is deemed fit enough to come back to Formula 1.
While Massa continues on his road to recovery, he will be deputised at Ferrari by seven times World Champion Michael Schumacher. Schumacher and former Scuderia Ferrari team boss Jean Todt visited Massa at the Budapest hospital on Saturday to check on his progress. Both were impressed to see how well his condition has been improving. Schumacher and Massa were team mates at Ferrari in 2006. After the legendary German retired at the end of 2006, he remained at Ferrari as a consultant and to this day is still a close friend and mentor of Felipe Massa.
Meanwhile, Ferrari said yesterday that Massa will give an interview later today, which will be the first since his accident. The interview will be published on the Ferrari website later this evening.
This is great news for me and for anyone who has ever been a motorsport fan. After 18 year old Henry Surtees was killed in an accident in a Formula 2 race in July, it looked like the world of motorsport will see another dreadful weekend following Massa's crash. It did remind everyone of that fateful weekend at Imola in 1994, when we lost Roland Ratzenberger and Ayrton Senna. Thankfully this time, the outcome, at least for Massa, was different. I wish him a full recovery and cannot wait to see him back on the track. Also not forgetting about Surtees, may he rest in peace.