Felipe Massa is preparing himself to try a 2007 F1 Ferrari at Fiorano in the near future and everybody in the F1 community is hoping against hope that this will not reveal any unexpected snags to stand between the popular Brazilian and a return to the cockpit full-time in 2010.
By all accounts, Felipe has been making great progress along the road to recovery, but of course the current F1 rules forbid the testing of any contemporary F1 car during the course of the racing season.
So he will be consigned to a 2007 machine similar to that prepared by the ‘Clienti Corse’ for Michael Schumacher to limber up in before a decision is taken about the timing and location of his return to the Grand Prix action.
My guess is that slipping behind the wheel of a 2007 Ferrari will awake memories of his brilliant victory that year at Interlagos on the day when Kimi Raikkonen clinched the World Championship.
I really cannot see Ferrari allowing him to make his return in Brazil, even if he is sufficiently recovered, because I don’t think Felipe should be subjected to that level of overwhelming pressure, sense of irrational expectancy and local media interest.
If he makes it back to racing in time for the season’s final in Abu Dhabi on November 1, it will be triumph enough. But I still think 2010 is a more reasonable re-starting point for this fine and popular man.