Ferrari have confirmed that Felipe Massa will not race again this season. Massa is in the latter stages of recovery from a serious head injury he sustained at this year’s Hungarian Grand Prix. While it had been assumed that newly appointed reserve driver Giancarlo Fisichella would probably finish out the season for the injured Brazilian, Fisico’s performances thus far have been less then stellar, which has contributed to specluation that Massa might be rushed into race kit for the season finale at Abu Dhabi, to help the team garner extra points.
Massa tested one of Ferrari’s 2007 Formula 1 cars today (through their Corse Clienti program, just as Michael Schumacher had done this year in preparation for possibly replacing Massa), but this is not to be taken as a sign that he is gearing up for a race appearance before season’s end.
A statement on Ferrari’s official website stated, ‘Tomorrow’s event is significant but in no way does it signify a return to competition in the near future. In fact, based on a previously taken decision and after an informal medical examination in Paris a few days ago, which proved rather positive, but not enough to endorse a return to competition in the next two months, Felipe and the team want to proceed gradually and without any hurry to recover as well as possible from the effects of the accident that happened in Budapest back on 25th July. Therefore talk of a proper return to Formula One can wait until the start of the 2010 season and only at that time will the medical checks be carried out, as required by the FIA in order to allow someone who has been injured to return to racing.’
Though he will not be racing, Massa will in fact make an appearance at the Brazilian Grand Prix, at Inter Lagos, in a semi-official capacity. He will wave the checkered flag.
Image by Vince Pettit, licensed through Creative Commons.