Ferrari driver Felipe Massa on Monday drove a Formula One car for the first time since sustaining severe head injuries more than three months ago.
Massa, 28, drove on Ferrari’s Maranello track in a 2007 model, after testing his fitness last week in a kart in his native Brazil.
Massa returned into the car the day after Ferrari confirmed that he will not compete again this season. There was speculation in the past that he may race in the November 1 season-ender in Abu Dhabi.
“A proper return to Formula 1 can wait until the start of the 2010 season and only at that time will the medical checks be carried out, as required by the (motorsport federation) FIA in order to allow someone who has been injured to return to racing,” said Ferrari in a statement on Sunday.
Ferrari said Monday’s run in a F2007 was “in no way a proper test session” but an opportunity for him “to renew his acquaintance with his natural environment, namely the race track.” Massa crashed on qualifying for the Hungarian GP on July 25 when he was hit on the helmet by a spring which came loose from another car.
In 2010, Massa will have a new teammate in former world champion Fernando Alonso, who will replace Kimi Raikkonen.