Doctors say Massa will race again
|By Edd Straw and Michele Lostia||Wednesday, July 29th 2009, 12:17 GMT|
Dino Altmann, Felipe Massa's personal doctor, is certain that Felipe Massa will be able to race again.
Altmann said that the trauma suffered by the Brazilian was not as bad as first thought, and that his condition has improved rapidly.
"I have no doubt Felipe will race again," he told Gazzetta dello Sport. "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 that the trauma wasn't as extended as it was believed, but the improvements of the last hours have gone beyond our wildest expectations."
Altmann added that fears that Massa had suffered damage to his left eye, which was opened for the first time since the accident yesterday, proved to be unjustified.
"Stimulated by the physiotherapist, he showed he knows left from right and he has full awareness of distance and depth," said Atlmann. "And his memory loss regards a short time.
"His eye has been opened, with care because it is still swollen, and he has said he can see. His vision has not weakened.
"He gave appropriate answers in three languages: Portuguese, Italian, and English. That means that the brain's cognitive area is fine."
Ferrari has confirmed that Massa will be moved out of intensive care later today, and team principal Stefano Domenicali has said that his rate of recovery is impressive.
"It's a fantastic improvement," Domenicali told the newspaper. "Only three days after the crash he's made encouraging progress.
"He recognised me, I greeted him and I brought him all the team's and the fans' warmth and support. He replied to me in Italian, after he had spoken to his family in Portuguese. He told me he can't remember anything that had happened: that's a good thing."
Domenicali added that Massa's place at Ferrari will be kept open for him when he is fit enough to return.
"The data is encouraging, but in these situations it's better to be prudent and take one step at a time," he said. "We want him to recover as soon as possible.
"I confirmed to him that we are looking forward to his return soon, that the car is his, and that as soon as he's ready he'll be back with us."