Felipe Massa today tested a Ferrari F1 car for the first time since his serious July accident, and pronounced himself as fit ‘as if nothing had happened’.
The Brazilian took a F2007 Ferrari fitted with GP2-spec slick tyres around the Italian marque’s Fiorano test track, and said he could return to racing today.
But doctors are likely to advise him not to race again this season, to ensure his recovery is full. Ferrari have also said they will not risk Massa again this season, despite rumours linking him with a season-ending Abu Dhabi drive.
However, there were no doubts from the man himself about how far he had come.
“When I was inside the car it was as if nothing had happened: I’m the same bastard as before,” Massa was quoted as saying by the ANSA news agency.
“Everything went well, I felt very good physically, it felt like the crash from 25 July had never occurred. I haven’t had any eyesight problem and today I’d be ready to do not just one, but two races in a row.
“Obviously we need to respect the doctors’ limitation as a precaution, but after getting in the car, I can say I’m back to what I was before the crash.”
He issued a challenge to his team to provide him with a good car for 2010.
“[We can] start preparing for next year, which won’t be an easy year because this one has been hard, and work to have a good car and fight for the championship.”