x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

Massa returns to Brazil to continue recuperation

Nine days after suffering a fractured skull in a horror crash during qualifying at the Hungarian Grand Prix, Ferrari driver Felipe Massa returned home to Brazil where he will continue his recovery.

Nine days after suffering a fractured skull in a horror crash during qualifying at the Hungarian Grand Prix, Ferrari driver Felipe Massa returned home to Brazil where he will continue his recovery. The 28-year-old Massa underwent surgery on multiple head injuries after he was hit in the helmet by a loose part from fellow Brazilian Rubens Barrichello's Brawn GP car on July 25, which resulted in him crashing into a protective tyre barrier.

"Thank God I'm feeling very well," Massa said in a statement on Sunday. "I only have a bit of swelling in the region of my left eye. I'm anxious to return to Brazil and continue the recovery. Massa - not altogether surprisingly - said he did not remember the crash at all. "The last thing I remembered was when I was behind him [Barrichello] at the end of my fast lap in Q2 and then it's blank." Massa was scheduled to arrive on a private jet in Sao Paulo last night, along with his first-time pregnant wife of six months and their family doctor Dino Altman.

Massa was then to be taken from the Sao Paulo airport to a local hospital by helicopter, where he was go through further medical check-ups. Last year's world championship runner-up will in all likelihood be staying at the hospital for two days before being allowed back to his home. Massa's departure yesterday was confirmed by Hungary's defence ministry, which oversee the AEK military hospital where he was being treated.

Brazil's Formula One hero is under contract to race for Ferrari until the end of the 2010 season. But he will be replaced at Ferrari - in the interim - by seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher. The German legend, who visited Massa at the hospital, retired from Formula One in 2006. @Email:sports@thenational.ae