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Massa given all-clear by Ferrari to begin comeback bid

  • Story Highlights
  • Injured F1 star Felipe Massa passes series of mental and physical tests
  • The Brazilian driver can begin training following minor surgery this week
  • Massa suffered horrific head injuries after a freak accident in Hungary in July
  • Ferrari expected to drop his struggling replacement Luca Badoer
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(CNN) -- Injured Formula One star Felipe Massa is looking forward to taking his first steps towards driving again after passing a series of mental and physical tests in Miami.

Felipe Massa has been given the all-clear to begin training as he bids to return to the race track.

Felipe Massa has been given the all-clear to begin training as he bids to return to the race track.

His team Ferrari reported on its Web site on Tuesday that the Brazilian, who suffered horrific head wounds in Hungary in July, had come through the tests satisfactorily on Monday.

"The checks (which included neurometric, impact and cognitive capacity tests) all had a positive outcome, just like the eye exam: everything is in order for Felipe to get back to racing," the statement said.

"Now there has just to be carried out some plastic surgery at the brain box, where the spring at the accident at the Hungaroring hit his helmet.

"The surgery will take place in the upcoming days. After a short convalescence Felipe can then gradually start with physical preparations."

The 28-year-old, who finished second in last year's drivers' world championship, said that he planned to take things slowly following the operation.

"I'm very happy about the results," he told before returning home to Sao Paulo.

"After the small surgery, in the next few days I can finally start to go to the gym to get back into shape and drive some tests in karts.

"On the track with a Formula One single-seater? Let's take it step by step. At the moment I'm concentrating on taking up physical activities, which is a great step forward."

Ferrari said Massa was expected to be at 100 percent fitness in time for the 2010 season, but gave no indication whether he would return to racing this year -- he has, however, indicated that he would like to drive at his home Brazilian Grand Prix on October 18.

His replacement, test driver Luca Badoer, is not expected to drive at the Italian Grand Prix two weekends away after finishing last in his two races so far.

Badoer, who stepped into the breach when F1 legend Michael Schumacher was unable to make a shock return to the sport due to a neck problem, was not allowed to test drive the current Ferrari vehicle during the four-week summer break due to this year's regulations.

Veteran Italian Giancarlo Fisichella has been linked with Ferrari after finishing second at the Belgian Grand Prix on Sunday, but his team Force India insist that he will race for them at Monza.

Highly-rated Polish driver Robert Kubica is also in the running to replace Badoer, with his team BMW Sauber dropping out of F1 at the end of this season.

Badoer's results aside, Ferrari have enjoyed a renaissance since Massa's injury, with 2007 world champion Kimi Raikkonen winning in Belgium to end a personal drought of 26 races and placing third in Valencia.

All About Felipe MassaKimi RaikkonenGiancarlo FisichellaRobert KubicaMichael SchumacherLuca BadoerFormula One RacingMotorsportsBrain Injuries

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