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Massa still hoping to return this season

FELIPE Massa is still hoping to return for the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix as he continues to recover from a life-threatening accident at the Hungarian GP.

"As soon as I get the OK from my doctors I'm going to get back in the car," Massa said in an interview with Corriere della Sera yesterday. "In 2010, it's 100 percent sure I'm going to race but it would be a dream to return at Abu Dhabi on Nov. 1."

Massa underwent a successful four-hour plastic surgery procedure on his cranium in Brazil on Monday, and he will soon start physical rehab. After a medical checkup in Miami last week, Ferrari indicated Massa won't return until 2010.

In July, Massa's Ferrari ran into a protective barrier after his helmet was struck by a loose part that broke off Rubens Barrichello's Brawn GP car and caused him to lose consciousness. He was hospitalized for nine days in Hungary and placed in an induced coma because of multiple skull fractures.

"The last memory of that day was my first lap of qualifying. The next thing I remember is three days later in the hospital in Budapest," Massa said, adding that he has watched video of the accident "at least 40 times."

"It was really bad luck but all it would have taken is one millimeter and I could have lost an eye or had mental problems. All in all, I was lucky."

Ferrari's longtime test driver Luca Badoer replaced Massa for the first two races after the accident and the team has now hired Giancarlo Fisichella from Force India for the final five races of the season.

Massa said he recommended Fisichella to Ferrari team director Stefano Domenicali.

"I speak with Domenicali nearly every day and I told him Giancarlo was a good candidate, because he has experience and had a great race at Spa," Massa said, referring to Fisichella's second-place finish in Spa in the last round.


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