Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo says he is 'confident and optimistic' that Felipe Massa will make a recovery from the injuries sustained in his accident during qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix.
Massa suffered a fractured skull when he was hit on the head by a spring that had come away from the rear of Rubens Barrichello's Brawn GP and is now in a stable condition in hospital in Budapest.
While doctors have expressed concern about potential damage to Massa's left eye following the incident, di Montezemelo – who visited Massa in hospital today [Monday] - said he was hopeful that his driver would recover from his injuries and paid tribute to the medics who have been caring for the Brazilian.
"I'm confident and optimistic about Felipe's capacity to recover," he said, "also because he has excellent medical care and I want to thank the staff at the AEK hospital for the work they're doing.
“Thank you also to Professor Sailant and Piete, who came here immediately. Their support will be fundamental also from a psychological point of view for Felipe's family and for the whole team.
"It was a serious and incredible accident, but thank God this is a different situation compared to 1976 when I went to see Niki Lauda after the accident at the Nurburgring. We have to wait, but the signs are encouraging."
With doctors suggesting that Massa is unlikely to race again this season, Ferrari will now have to evaluate possible replacements to partner Kimi Raikkonen from the European Grand Prix in Valencia, but di Montezemolo said that finding a substitute would come second behind ensuring Massa's recovery.
"Our priority is the recovery of Felipe as a man,” he said. “He has been with us for a long time and he is part of the family and not just of the team... We're all waiting for him at Ferrari and I'm convinced that we'll see him again in one of our single-seaters and that he will be again on top.
"Yesterday's race would have been perfect for Felipe. I'm heading back to Maranello with [team principal Stefano] Domenicali, who will make suggestions on how to substitute the Brazilian driver until he returns, which I hope will be very soon. We'll make a decision when the time is right, considering that there's a break of a month now."