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Massa at home and hoping for comeback
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Massa at home and hoping for comeback
Posted By: James Allen  |  06 Aug 2009   |  8:12 am GMT  |  16 comments

There are now two Ferrari drivers working hard to make a comeback, both requiring clearance from medics before they can race again.

While Michael Schumacher has a date with the doctors with regard to his neck injury and the slightly more urgent deadline of a race on August 23rd, Felipe Massa has been discharged by doctors in Brazil and is beginning his recuperation at home in Sao Paolo, following his head injury during qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix. His road to recovery will be longer.

Yesterday Massa’s doctor, Dino Altmann said, “Felipe has had a remarkable recovery. We did a series of in-depth tests and the outcome is very encouraging so that we, together with the hospital’s medical staff, decided that it wouldn’t be currently necessary to further intervene from a surgical point of view. The best thing for him now is to go back home, where he can calmly convalesce and rehabilitate.”

Massa walked out of hospital in Budapest and boarded the private jet back to Brazil by himself. “I’m feeling much better now and I want to recover as soon as possible to get back behind the wheel of a Ferrari, ” Massa said.

“I know exactly what happened, that a spring came off Rubens’ car and hit me on the helmet. I know that something happened to me, but I didn’t feel anything when it happened. They told me that I lost consciousness at the moment of the spring’s impact on my helmet and I ran into the barriers, then I woke up in hospital two days later. I don’t remember anything and that’s why what the doctors did had to be explained to me.”

As I posted on the Saturday night in Budapest, a leading London brain surgeon I spoke to said that if he had a patient who had gone through that kind of head trauma, he would think it very unlikely that he would clear him to race again within three months, not least in case he were to suffer another head injury on his comeback.

Racing drivers are remarkable human beings in that they can make themselves do things most normal people could not imagine. However the flip side of it is that the job is so physically demanding and so dangerous, no corners can be cut in deciding whether a driver is physically ready to be put back into the field.

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16 Comments
  1. Matt Aitch says:

    Do you think there’s a possibility of Ferrari delaying Schumacher’s return until Monza due to his neck? If so, will they run only Raikkonen or look at the possibility of running Gene or Badoer at Valencia?

    1. James Allen says:

      We will know more after the medical examinations next week. Will he do all the races FM misses? That is the stated plan, but it’s not clear yet how this will play out. We don’t know how competitive he will be. Anything could happen.

  2. Peter Freeman says:

    My sincerest wish and prayer is that he makes a full recovery.

  3. Adrian says:

    James, jsut as a point of reference, could you tell us (from your understanding) how Massa’s head injury compares to that sustained by Richard Hammond in his equally terrible accident a few years back?

    1. James Allen says:

      Don’t have any information on that, I’m afraid.

  4. James Bond says:

    Speriamo bene Felipe…
    Come back when ever you’re ready…
    Saluti…

  5. Peter says:

    I think it is also fair to mention what a fantastic job the doctors did in the AEK Hospital in Budapest. As I have read the hospital is one of the bests in Europe and the doctors have experience gained in military environment with extreme injuries.

  6. Tom says:

    Is 16 October too soon – for a dramatic comeback at Interlagos? He’d probably win there – he always does.

    And would the other teams let Massa test a Ferrari before the end of the year?

    1. Mav says:

      I’d say that Filipe is pretty familiar with the controls of the F60 already. His only problem is going to be getting “match fit” again. And in that case he can pop over the road an start hooning around in the F2007 if he so desires.

  7. Buck says:

    I hope Felipe recovers soon. But I also hope Schumacher does well. It will be a nice change from all the BS we have grown accustomed to this season. I have a question related to Schumacher, his neck and drivers’ fitness in general: if teams are not allowed to test the cars during the season, how do drivers stay in racing shape for the rigors of driving an F1 car, especially during long breaks such as the present one?

    1. Adrian says:

      Well if they’re a certian English driver they compete in triathalons!!

  8. Werewolf says:

    Best wishes as always to Felipe. Hopefully, he will rest the season out to properly recover, test fully over the winter and James can interview him on the podium after the first race – assuming rightful place alongside MB is not restored!

    1. Craig says:

      I agree. Felipe is not in the title race so there is no need for him to come back this season. As much as we all want him back in the car, ensuring that he is 100% fit is more important than a motor race. Especially now he is going to be a father.

  9. manatcna says:

    Don’t fool yourselves; Ferrari will keep TGF in the car for the rest of the season.

  10. hoodia says:

    Nice but i think something is missing.

  11. GiseeOwex says:

    Tender thanks you representing details. It helped me in my responsibility

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