Ferrari driver continues to make progress
29 July 2009

Ferrari driver Felipe Massa will race again, according to his personal doctor.

Dino Altmann told the Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport that the trauma suffered by Massa was not as bad as first thought.

"I have no doubt Felipe will race again," said Altmann, "I'm sure of that.

"The situation is still delicate, but I believe his life is not in danger anymore. From the beginning I felt that the trauma wasn't as extended as it was believed, but the improvements of the last hours have gone beyond our wildest expectations."

Altmann added that fears that Massa had suffered damage to his left eye, which was opened for the first time since the accident yesterday, proved to be unjustified.

"His eye has been opened, with care because it is still swollen, and he has said he can see. His vision has not weakened," said Altmann.

"He gave appropriate answers in three languages: Portuguese, Italian, and English. That means that the brain's cognitive area is fine."

Massa is also reported to have taken his first steps since the accident.

As a result he will leave the intensive care unit of the hospital today and will be transferred to a private room in the same hospital.

A decision on whether he can be transferred to a different hospital depend on the resulst of the various tests being conducted continuing to be positive.

Meanwhile, F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone, who visited Massa in hospital in the immediate aftermath of his accident, has said he doubts the Brazilian will race again this year.

"It's difficult to say whether or not he's going to be in a position to compete this year," said Ecclestone. "Next year I don't know, but I doubt we'll see him this year.

"One thing that's good is that they are very hopeful that the eye is not anywhere near as bad as they thought."

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