Formula One driver Felipe Massa returned to competition for the first time since his life-threatening accident four months ago, finishing third in a charity karting event won by Michael Schumacher.
Massa started 11th at the “International Challenge of the Stars” race in southern Brazil, which he is hosting for the fifth straight year to aid local charities.
“It was a great return to racing,” Massa said. “I felt 100 per cent and I’m ready for the next one. I wish I could’ve won the race, but it was a victory to come from the back and finish where I finished.”
It was the first time Massa had raced competitively since sustaining multiple skull fractures in a crash with his Ferrari in qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix on July 25. The Brazilian driver missed the rest of the season because of the accident but will be back in F1 next year.
Schumacher, Massa’s former teammate at Ferrari, started from sixth place and was running third until the final laps of the 30-minute race, but Indy Racing League driver Vitor Meira and F1 driver Vitantonio Liuzzi touched their karts while fighting for the lead, allowing Schumacher to easily move past them and secure the victory.
Schumacher, the event winner in 2007, also clocked the best lap at the brand new track designed by Massa and Renault test driver Lucas Di Grassi, who finished fourth. Liuzzi was second and Meira fifth.
Veteran F1 driver Rubens Barrichello finished sixth, while IRL’s Tony Kanaan was seventh.