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Massa passes crucial medical tests

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Massa passes crucial medical tests
Oct 10, 2009, 5:45 AM

Felipe Massa came through the first day of medical tests in Paris yesterday, with the doctors confirming that his eyesight has not be affected by t...

Felipe Massa came through the first day of medical tests in Paris yesterday, with the doctors confirming that his eyesight has not be affected by the accident he suffered in July when he was hit in the forehead with a 700 gramme metal spring.

"Today Felipe Massa started a series of neurological and ophthalmological exams by the FIA at the Pitié Salpetrière hospital in Paris, " announced Ferrari, "Part of the Brazilian driver’s recovery programme after the accident in Budapest on 25 July. Today’s exams ended at 7:30pm and will restart tomorrow afternoon. The first outcomes are positive: especially the ophthalmological exam confirmed that Felipe, who arrived with his personal doctor Dino Altmann, has recovered the functions of his left eye by 100%.

The medical tests continued on Saturday and Massa was given the all clear on the neurological side. He has been cleared to get back behind the wheel again.

Massa answers fans' questions (Photo: Ferrari)

The way is now clear for him to test out his body's reaction to being back in a Formula 1 car again and on Monday he will drive the F2007 Ferrari at Fiorano, with further tests at Mugello in the offing. It is now up to Massa himself and Ferrari whether he races again this season.

Massa has already admitted that his chances of taking part in the final race in Abu Dhabi are very small, but he is going through the rehabilitation process nevertheless. He accepts that, despite his desperation to get back to competition, racing when not fully fit again carries reputational risks which are not necessary at this stage.

Even if he does not race at the end of this he will have given Ferrari confidence that he can return at 100% next season and he will have gone through a crucial exercise in getting his feet back under the table before the arrival of Fernando Alonso.

“I hope that I’ll be back soon, but I also know that the best thing is that I’m coming back 100% at the start of the next season,” Felipe wrote in a live webchat on the Ferrari website on Thursday. “My dream would be to race in Abu Dhabi, but the possibility is really, really low…”

Asked about having Alonso as a team mate he replied, “I’m sure that with Alonso we’ll form a great team and we’ll work together very well. The goal will be very simple: winning,”

I asked McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh the other day what advice he would give Ferrari on how to manage Alonso and he said with a huge grin, "As long as he's winning I'm sure everything will be fine..."

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