Massa flying home to Brazil on Monday

Updated: August 2, 2009, 4:16 PM ET
Associated Press

SAO PAULO -- Ferrari driver Felipe Massa is on the mend with only some swelling near his left eye and will fly home to Brazil on Monday nine days after fracturing his skull in a high-speed crash in Hungary.

He will travel on a medical plane with his wife Raffaela, who is six months pregnant with their first child, and family doctor Dino Altmann. They are expected in Sao Paulo on Monday night. Massa's parents and his brother flew back Sunday.

Massa
Massa

"Thank God, I'm feeling very well," Massa said Sunday in a statement. "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 process."

Massa will be transported by helicopter from the Sao Paulo airport to a hospital, where he is expected to have further tests. He will probably stay there about two days before going home.

The 28-year-old Brazilian has said he was thinking about returning to Formula One as early as the next race, the European Grand Prix on Aug. 23 at Valencia, Spain. But he said Sunday his return might be some time away.

"It is important to be fully recovered before returning to the track," he said.

Massa underwent surgery on multiple skull fractures after he was hit in the helmet by a loose part from another car. He crashed into a tire barrier during qualifying at the Hungarian GP on Aug. 25.

He will be replaced at Ferrari by seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher, who visited Massa on Saturday at his Budapest hospital.


Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press

ALSO SEE