Ferrari has emphasized that Felipe Massa's test in a 2007 Formula 1 car tomorrow is only an early step in his recovery program and does not mean he will be fit to race before the end of the 2009 season.
The Brazilian has passed a series of medical tests in Paris in preparation for tomorrow's run at Fiorano, but the team says the examination proved that he will definitely not be ready to make a full return until the start of the 2010 world championship. The test will just be a chance for Massa to slowly re-acclimatize to driving an F1 car, according to Ferrari.
"Tomorrow morning at the Fiorano track, Felipe Massa will get back behind the wheel of a Formula 1 car," said a team statement. "This is in no way a proper test session and looking at the stopwatch will not be on the agenda – there will be plenty of time for that in 2010, when, alongside Fernando Alonso, he will begin development work of the new single-seater. It is simply an opportunity for Felipe to renew his acquaintance with his natural environment, namely the racetrack. The Brazilian driver will do a few laps at the wheel of a privately owned F2007, run by staff of Ferrari's F1 Clienti department."
Earlier this week Massa revealed that he had little expectation of being fit to race in Abu Dhabi, as he had initially hoped, and Ferrari confirmed that he would definitely not race again in 2009.
"Tomorrow's event is significant but in no way does it signify a return to competition in the near future," said the team. "In fact, based on a previously taken decision and after an informal medical examination in Paris a few days ago, which proved rather positive, but not enough to endorse a return to competition in the next two months, Felipe and the team want to proceed gradually and without any hurry to recover as well as possible from the effects of the accident that happened in Budapest back on 25th July.
"Therefore, talk of 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 FIA in order to allow someone who has been injured to return to racing."