Felipe Massa was back b1ehind the wheel of a Formula One car on Monday for the first time since his horror crash in Hungary on July 25.
The Brazilian took a privately owned F2007 — Ferrari’s 2007 F1 model — for a spin around the constructor’s test track at Fiorano, completing a few laps.
And he said he felt as if he had never been away.
“When I was in the car it felt as if nothing had happened. I’m the same bastard as before,” he joked.
“Everything went well, I’m in good shape physically, it felt as if the incident on July 25 had never happened.
“I had no problems with my sight and I’m ready to do not one but two races in a row,” Massa added.
“Obviously I’ll take my time as a precaution, you have to respect that, but having got in the car I can tell you that I’m just as I was before the accident.”
Ferrari had insisted on Sunday that the test was not done with a view to Massa racing again this season, but rather as “an opportunity for Felipe to renew his acquaintance with his natural environment, namely the race track.”
The Brazilian suffered a terrible crash during the Hungarian Grand Prix in July, and spent several days in hospital with a large gash just above his eye.
Massa has been replaced by Italian Giancarlo Fisichella for the final races of this season while two-time world champion Fernando Alonso of Spain has already been announced as his new teammate for next season, with 2007 world champion Kimi Raikkonen leaving the team.
And the Italian team insists that next season is when Massa will make his return.
“This is in no way a proper test session and looking at the stopwatch will not be on the agenda — there will be plenty of time for that in 2010, when, alongside Fernando Alonso, he will begin development work of the new single-seater,” said a team statement on the company’s website.
“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,” the statement said.