Felipe Massa has vowed to make a return to F1 once he has recovered from the injuries he sustained during qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix – injuries he admits could have cost him his life.
Massa was forced to undergo emergency surgery in a Budapest hospital for a fractured skull after being struck on the helmet by a spring that had broken from the rear of the Brawn GP car of Rubens Barrichello.
The Brazilian is expected to leave hospital to return home tomorrow [Monday] and faces a lengthy spell on the sidelines as he recuperates – with seven-time F1 champion Michael Schumacher coming out of retirement to replace him in the Ferrari line-up.
However, Massa vowed that he will return, even if he can remember nothing of the incident that saw him put into an induced coma in hospital.
"I know I am lucky to be alive - but I will
race again,” Massa is said to have told his brother Edoardo in quotes obtained by the News of the World
. "When I woke up I didn't know why I was in hospital so I was asking 'Why am I here?' I was pulling all the tubes and my brother Eduardo tried to stop me so we had a fight.
"The accident was just so unlucky, but I know I am lucky to be alive. I don't remember anything of what happened. It was my race, so when I awoke from the coma I couldn't believe it when they told me Lewis [Hamilton] had won and Kimi [Raikkonen – Ferrari team-mate] was second."
Ahead of his release from hospital, Massa was visited in hospital on Saturday by Ferrari vice-president Pierro Ferrari, former team boss Jean Todt and Schumacher – who made the trip following his test in an F2007 at Mugello on Friday.
"It was good to finally see Felipe, I feel better now," Schumacher said. "Although I've been constantly in contact with him through Nicolas and Jean and I always knew everything, it's always better to see things with your own eyes. I'm surprised by how good his condition is, considering that the accident happened last week. We've been together and spoke a bit about everything. I feel really relieved now."
Massa's first official interview following the accident will be released on Monday.