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Page last updated at 22:23 GMT, Thursday, 8 October 2009 23:23 UK

Massa unlikely to return in 2009

Felipe Massa
Massa is still showing visible signs of his crash

Ferrari's Felipe Massa says his chances of driving in the final race of the season in Abu Dhabi are "very low".

The 28-year-old, who suffered a fractured skull in qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix in July, is set to return to testing next week.

He is keen to return to racing as soon as possible, but has admitted he still needs time to fully recover.

"My dream would be to be at Abu Dhabi, but the chances of this happening are very, very low," he said.

"My hope is to come back soon, although I know the ideal thing is to return 100% at the start of next season."

After ruling out a return at the Brazilian Grand Prix, a race he won last year, Massa will instead wave the chequered flag at Interlagos alongside football legend Pele and supermodel Gisele Bundchen on 18 October.

I'm confident and I think that there won't be any problems

Felipe Massa

After working on technical performance on a simulator and rebuilding his strength at Ferrari's Maranello factory, Massa is set to return behind the wheel of a Formula 1 single-seater next week.

Although mid-season testing is not permitted, he will drive a two-year-old F2007 car with GP2 tyres.

"Tomorrow (Friday) I'll go to Paris for some medical check-ups at the FIA and on Monday, if the weather is fine, I should finally be behind the wheel of a Formula 1 single-seater," he told Ferrari's website.

"I hope that I can do many miles and do well, not only in terms of performance but also as far as constant lap times are concerned.

"I'm confident and I think that there won't be any problems. It's true that a Formula 1 vibrates a lot and there is lots of physical stress, but I'm used to it."

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Massa has been out since the crash on 25 July, when he suffered serious injuries after debris from compatriot Rubens Barrichello's Brawn car hit his helmet just above the left eye.

The Brazilian was travelling at slightly more than 160mph when the spring hit him, and he crashed into the barriers at 62mph.

At the time, there were major fears that he could have suffered loss of vision.

Luca Badoer had two disappointing races as Massa's stand-in before being replaced for the rest of the season by Giancarlo Fisichella, who will drop down to reserve driver next season following the signing of Fernando Alonso from Renault.



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see also
Massa wins approval for testing
04 Oct 09 |  Formula 1
Massa to use Ferrari F1 simulator
30 Sep 09 |  Formula 1
Ferrari confirm capture of Alonso
30 Sep 09 |  Formula 1
Massa set to make low-key return
25 Sep 09 |  Formula 1
Massa fearless over racing return
08 Sep 09 |  Formula 1
Ferrari 'count on' Massa for 2010
01 Sep 09 |  Formula 1
Fisichella makes Ferrari switch
03 Sep 09 |  Formula 1
Schumacher rules out race return
23 Aug 09 |  Formula 1
Massa leaves Brazilian hospital
04 Aug 09 |  Formula 1
F1 to investigate Massa accident
26 Jul 09 |  Formula 1
Felipe Massa
02 Nov 08 |  Drivers


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