Felipe Massa's recovery is going so well that he could walk out of hospital by the end of next week, his doctor has said.
Following further encouraging signs about Massa's condition following the fractured skull he suffered in his qualifying accident for the Hungarian Grand Prix, doctors are now hopeful that he may be able to leave the AEK Hospital in Budapest soon.
Peter Bazso, the medical director of the hospital, told Hungarian TV channel M1 on Tuesday: "My expectation is that he would walk out of the hospital on his own. If his recovery continues at this pace, I wouldn't rule out that he could leave within 10 days."
Massa has been brought out of an induced coma and has now been taken off a respirator. "He's spending more and more time awake, talking to family and friends," Bazso said.
Massa's wife, parents, brother and manager Nicolas Todt have remained in hospital with him, and Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali is due to visit him on Tuesday. However, while it remains uncertain about the extent of any eye injury that Massa may have suffered, Bazso has also said that Massa's condition must still be monitored closely.
"I would like to point out that although he's recovering, this is not the end of the story, he is still in a life-threatening condition," Bazso said. "Of course, the danger is decreasing by the day."
Massa's injuries were caused when he was struck on the helmet by a flying spring that had come off the back of Rubens Barrichello's Brawn GP car.