Ferrari driver Felipe Massa will delay his return to F1 until the start of the 2010 season, after tests revealed he will have to undergo further surgery this week before he can resume training.
Massa was struck on the head by a spring from Rubens Barichello’s Brawn GP car while travelling at over 160mph during qualifying at the Hungarian GP in July.
Massa underwent a medical examination in Miami on Monday and, although Ferrari said the tests were positive, it played down any chance of Massa racing again this year.
"The results of examination have been warmly welcomed in Maranello, in the sense that the team can count on Felipe 100 per cent for the start of next season," said a Ferrari statement.
Massa will have a plate inserted in his skull at the point of impact, and plastic surgery on the wound area.
Massa said: "I’ll finally be able to start doing gym exercise and, after that, I’ll be able to start doing some testing on karts."
Ferrari is expected to confirm a replacement driver for the final five races of the season within the next 48 hours. Force India's Giancarlo Fisichella is favourite for the drive.