Ferrari driver Felipe Massa’s comeback from a life-threatening accident took another step on Sunday, with the Formula One team receiving permission from motor racing’s governing body for him to test one of its cars.

The Brazilian was knocked unconscious by a loose car part in qualifying at the Hungarian Grand Prix in July and crashed headlong into a safety barrier. He injured the area around his left eye and required surgery, and later had a metal plate inserted.

Massa has since been sidelined from F1, but did race a go-kart in his native Brazil last week.

In-season testing is banned in F1 as a cost-cutting measure, but Ferrari received conditional approval from FIA for Massa to test an earlier-model car, using no parts from the F60 model employed this season.

Massa is expected to use a Ferrari race simulator in the coming week. Ferrari said it was not yet decided when the on-track test would take place.

The Brazilian had hoped to return for the season-ending Abu Dhabi GP on November 1 but, with Ferrari out of championship contention, his comeback looks likely to wait until 2010.

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