Seven-time Formula One world champion Michael Schumacher is making a comeback for Ferrari to replace the injured Felipe Massa. Ferrari said in a statement last night that the German had agreed to get back in the cockpit until Massa is fit to return. Schumacher said: "Though it is true that the Formula One chapter has long been closed for me, it is also true that for team loyalty reasons I cannot ignore that unfortunate situation." Massa was yesterday moved out of intensive care, with his doctor convinced he will race again. Massa's rapid improvement since undergoing surgery on Saturday to repair a fractured skull has prompted doctors at the AEK military hospital in Budapest to move him to his own private room. It means the Brazilian, 28, is now off the critical list, although he will continue to be closely monitored because, given the nature of his injury, caution is still required. Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo is to see Massa again today after paying a visit on Monday when there were fears he may never drive again.
However, Massa is able to talk and has now started to take his first few tentative steps out of bed. Ferrari spokesperson Luca Colajanni said: "The most important situation is that Felipe is out of intensive care He is speaking more or less normally and he has managed his first few steps so, from a clinical point of view, everything is going in the right direction." The progress has convinced Massa's own doctor, Dino Altmann, the Ferrari driver's motor-racing career is far from over.
Speaking to Gazzetta dello Sport, Altmann said: "I have no doubt Felipe will race again. I'm sure of that. The situation is still delicate, but I believe his life is not in danger anymore. From the beginning I felt the trauma wasn't as extended as it was believed, but the improvements have gone beyond our wildest expectations." * Agencies