Felipe Massa admits that he would have loved to make his return to F1 in Brazil after making his first appearance in the paddock since his accident at the Hungarian Grand Prix.
As he continues to recover from the injuries he sustained at the Hungaroring, Massa made his return to the F1 paddock for his home race, standing on the pitwall enviously watching on during Friday practice.
Massa was also wave the chequered flag at the end of Sunday's race and he admitted it had been difficult to find himself away from the circuit.
“I have to say I want to be in the car, driving especially here in Brazil,” he said. ”It would have been fantastic to come back for this race. Unfortunately we need to wait a little bit more. It is not very easy to be on the outside just looking and not doing anything, just discussing what's happening on the test, but let's prepare everything for next year to be in a good shape.”
Massa returned to action with a test in a 2007-spec car as he begins his recovery drive ahead of the 2010 season and he insisted that the crash that could have cost him his career hadn't changed him.
“Very good,” he replied when asked how he felt. “I mean it would be better to be driving the car but I am quite happy that things are going quite well. The recovery was really great, so I can say I am the same as before. In the last three weeks, which was after the second operation, I started to do fitness and I have to say now I am really the same I was before the accident in terms of the physical side. I did the simulator, not really one day, it was 100kms in Fiorano in the 2007 car and it was very good. To be honest, I was pushing, I was not really slow, everything was normal. Even the consistency was good. Everything was really normal and I am really, really happy.
“Now I can do everything, like I was doing before. The only big issue is that everything needs to be 100 per cent ready as our sport is a risk sport. We can have another accident. I hope not, but we can. It is better to be 100 per cent ready to recover from another accident. That is why we are waiting a little bit more and it will be better to wait until next year.”
With Ferrari having struggled during practice on Friday, Massa's chances of welcoming his own team to the finish with victory on Sunday appears to be slim, with the Brazilian stating that he was hopeful that compatriot Rubens Barrichello would be the man to beat instead – even if he felt Barrichello was unlikely to stop Jenson Button lifting the drivers' title.
“For sure it will be a pretty difficult job for me to do the chequered flag,” he said. “We at Ferrari are definitely not in a very great position this year. I hope I can show the chequered flag to our team but I hope that Rubens has a chance to fight for the championship. For sure, if I give the chequered flag to Rubens finishing first I will be very happy. It would be very good for Brazil. After that, we want our car to be first in the race.
“To be honest, Jenson has a greater chance in the World Championship. He has a good possibility to score not a lot of points and still be World Champion. I think he has the best possibility to win the championship. Rubens's case is very difficult but as I told him before, he doesn't need to think about anything, he just needs to think about winning the race and the result will be what it will be. It doesn't depend anymore on just Rubens, it depends more on Jenson. I think Jenson has a greater chance.”