Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Felipe Massa back at Maranello as his recovery moves into full swing

For the first time since his accident at the Hungarian Grand Prix Qualifying back in July, Felipe Massa returned to the Ferrari headquarters in Maranello on Monday. Following a small surgery in September to put a small metal plate to strengthen his skull at the point of impact, Massa has already started his physical training and the level of training is almost back to his pre-accident levels. The Brazilian will now continue with his physical training and is also scheduled to work on the Ferrari simulator besides having some technical meetings with engineers at the Gestione Sportiva (Ferrari's motorsport division).

Within the next couple of weeks, Massa will do a test session with an F2007 fitted with GP2 tyres. Already authorised by the FIA, the session will take place at Ferrari's private Fiorano test track, which is located right next to their Maranello headquarters.

"I'm finally back home," Massa told the official Ferrari website. "This is my second family and I couldn't wait to see them again, all the people I've been working with for many years and who have been close to me these days.

"Now I can really say that I start working again. There's lots to do, but I'm happy. I like the way in Maranello."

Director of the Gestione Sportiva Stefano Domenicali, who himself just came back from Suzuka on Monday morning following the Japanese Grand Prix, was happy to see Massa back at Maranello. Domenicali and Massa sat together and discussed the programme Massa would go through over the next few days.

“It's good to have Felipe back with us," Stefano Domenicali said, "and I'm happy that I can embrace him again. We called Chairman Luca di Montezemolo together and he was happy to say hello to Felipe, wishing him well for his work, while they took an appointment for the next days. Today we'll have some technical meetings and mainly physical exercise. Felipe has to get back on top: he has a demanding period ahead of him with constant activities, but he knows that we're not in a hurry”.

Domenicali also said that it is not yet confirmed when the F2007 test will take place with Massa, but it will not be at least until next week. When asked by the media over the Japanese Grand Prix weekend, Domenicali refused to rule out the possibility that Massa could be back in Formula 1 for the final race of the 2009 season, which is the inaugural Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. In fact, some sources in the Italian media suggest that depending on how his physical training and his test session with the F2007 goes, Massa may ask Ferrari to let him race in Abu Dhabi.

Massa said hello to all the people from the Gestione Sportiva, who have been really supportive of him in this difficult time. Later on, he went to the Ferrari production line to see the newly launched GT car, the Ferrari 458 Italia.

Before going to the gym, Massa answered some fan emails and comments on the official Ferrari website. He said that over the next few days, he wants to thank the fans for their support and answer their questions in a live chat.

I am very happy to see Massa back 'home'. His accident really was horrendous, and he himself agrees that he was lucky even to be alive. After that, the fact that he has recovered so well in such a short time just shows his fighting spirit and his determination to come back to Formula 1 stronger than ever. Now I only wish that he will take his time to get fully race fit before getting back behind the wheel. He is very eager to be back racing as soon as possible, which is why he is pushing to make a return at Abu Dhabi. As much as I cannot wait to see him back, I want him to fully get well first. The pre-season testing for 2010 does not start until February, so in theory he could use up all that time to recover fully. As part of the regulations, Massa will need to see an FIA doctor before he is allowed to race in Formula 1 again.

Although not racing, Massa will be present in the Ferrari garage throughout the Brazilian Grand Prix weekend. Massa has always loved the Interlagos track and not just because it is his home race, but also because he has a great record there for Ferrari. It will understandably be hard for him to watch the race from the Ferrari garage, but hopefully the overwhelming support he will have there will make it up for him. Here is hoping to see Felipe Massa make a successful return to Formula 1!

No comments:

Post a Comment