Tuesday, August 25, 2009
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Massa to undergo more tests in the US

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[August 25, 2009]  SAO PAULO (AP) -- Formula One driver Felipe Massa will travel to the United States on Friday to undergo tests with a doctor renowned for treating injured race car drivers.

Massa, recovering from life-threatening injuries from a crash in his Ferrari at the Hungarian Grand Prix nearly a month ago, said Sunday he will go to Miami to meet Dr. Steve Olvey, a former medical director for CART and a specialist in racing injuries.

The Brazilian driver is expected to stay in the United States for two or three days before continuing his treatment at home in Sao Paulo.

Olvey was one of the doctors who helped treat Alessandro Zanardi after the Italian driver had both legs amputated following a 2001 crash.

Before traveling, Massa will undergo more exams in Brazil to check on his progress after sustaining multiple skull fractures in the high-speed crash in qualifying for the Hungarian GP on July 25.


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 needed surgery and was hospitalized for nine days in Hungary.

Massa said recently he hopes to be racing again at the Oct. 18 Brazilian GP, but doctors are yet to give him a probable return date. He said he has not fully recovered from a left-eye injury sustained in the crash.

The 28-year-old Massa also thanked fellow Brazilian Barrichello for dedicating his victory at the European GP on Sunday to him. Barrichello wore a helmet with the words: "Felipe, see you on the track soon."

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"I talked to him and congratulated him for his fantastic victory," Massa said in a statement released Sunday. "I took the opportunity to thank him for all he did to me. I confess that I was moved when I saw the writing on his helmet."

"I was another Brazilian fan cheering for him," Massa said, adding that he watched the European GP from his home and followed the race's live-timing on a computer. "The last time I watched a (F1) race on the TV was in the Japanese GP in 2003, when I was a test driver for Ferrari and didn't make the trip."

Luca Badoer, filling in for Massa, finished 17th in Valencia after starting last on the grid.

[Associated Press; By TALES AZZONI]

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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