Ferrari’s Felipe Massa returned to the cockpit of the 2009-spec F60 for the first time since his serious head injury sustained in qualifying for the Hungarian grand prix in July.
The popular Brazilian appeared at the Italian team’s traditional end of season World Finals event in Valencia, where he was also joined by Fernando Alonso for the first time.
Massa was pleased to be back behind the wheel of this year’s Ferrari and compared the feeling to winning a grand prix.
“It was fantastic and I am so happy," he said. "Although I could drive just a little, I really enjoyed being here. I am very motivated - this today for me is like victory. It was just like before the accident at the Hungaroring."
Massa entertained the crowd with doughnuts in the car, while also doing demonstration laps along with Ferrari test drivers Giancarlo Fisichella, Luca Badoer and Marc Gene.
Team chairman Luca di Montezemolo is confident of success in 2010 with what he believes to be the strongest driver line up on the grid.
“For me Felipe and Fernando are the best drivers couple in Formula 1," he said. "I am convinced that they both will be very motivated and will want to win. I am not worried about having two Latin drivers, which may be for the first time in our history.
"They both know very well that first of all they are racing for Ferrari and not for themselves.”
di Montezemolo took Alonso and Massa out for a parade lap in a Ferrari California, but he managed to drive off into the gravel where it got stuck. The three were rescued by another California following behind.