MADRID // Ferrari will make a decision today over when Felipe Massa will drive a Formula One car for the first time since his life-threatening accident in Hungary. The Italian team said yesterday that only after completing a two-day spell in the team's simulator would a decision over the timing of the Brazilian's comeback be made. Williams team head Frank Williams sent a message of support to Massa yesterday about a possible test at Fiorano on October 12, but Ferrari said no date had yet been set.
Massa arrived at the team's Maranello factory on Monday to work on his fitness and get re-acquainted with the team as he continues his rehabilitation from head surgery after a freak accident at the Hungarian Grand Prix in July. Governing body FIA have allowed the test, which will be undertaken in Ferrari's F2007 that will be fitted with GP2 tires. "I would like to wish Felipe well with his return to a Formula One car next week," Williams said in a statement.
"It is a tribute to the safety standards of Formula One today, and of course to Felipe's characteristic determination and drive, that he is making his return so soon. "I hope that the test proves a successful step in his rehabilitation," the statement added. Williams was criticised by Ferrari after refusing to allow Luca Badoer to test this season's car before replacing Massa in the race after Budapest.
Massa, meanwhile, is still contemplating a possible return this season. Asked if he could make the Brazilian GP on October 18, he had said: "It would be too close to the limit. We'll see for Abu Dhabi [on November 1], we'll need the FIA's authorisation. It depends on this test. "I perfectly remember how to drive. My worry isn't to immediately get a good lap time, but just to drive again," Massa told Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport.