Felipe Massa insists he is exactly the same driver he was before his accident and admits he is very happy with how his recovery has gone.
The Ferrari driver has been out of action since his dramatic incident at the Hungarian Grand Prix, but returned to the Formula 1 paddock for the first time for this weekend's Brazilian Grand Prix. Speaking publicly for the first time since Hungary, Massa said the accident has not changed him at all.
"Very good," Massa said when asked how he was feeling. "It would have been better to be driving the car, but I am quite happy things are going quite well. The recovery was pretty great and I can say I am same as before.
"In the last three weeks, which was after the second operation, I started to do fitness and I have to say now I am really the same I was before the accident, on the physical side," added the Brazilian, who got back to Formula 1 action earlier this week with a two-year-old car.
"It was 100 kilometers in Fiorano in 2007 and it was really good," he said. "I was not really slow, I was pushing, everything was normal. Even the consistency was good, everything really normal and I am really, really happy."
He said there were no limitations about what he could do now, but acknowledged he had to wait until he was fully recovered before returning to racing.
"To be honest, I can do everything I did before," he added. "The only big issue is that everything should be 100 percent ready because our sport is a risk sport. We could have another accident, so it's better to be 100 percent ready to recover in case of another accident, that is why I will wait a bit more and better to wait for next year."
The Ferrari driver admitted he is raring to go back to racing, saying it has been hard to stay away from it.
"It's not easy. I want to be in the car, driving, especially here in Brazil, it would have been fantastic to come back to this race, but unfortunately we need to wait a bit more. It's not easy to be outside just looking, not doing anything, just discussing what is happening in the test. Let's prepare everything for next year."
Massa, who will be waving the checkered flag on Sunday, is hoping he will do it for his friend Rubens Barrichello, as he reckons his own team is unlikely to be a in position to win.
"For sure it will be a pretty difficult job for me to do the chequered flag. We are not in a very great position in Ferrari this year, I hope I can give it to our team, but I hope Rubens can have a chance to fight for the championship, if I give it to Rubens I will be very happy, it will be nice for Brazil. Also in our car that is what we want, to be first in the race."
The Brazilian conceded, however, that Barrichello's teammate Jenson Button was still favorite for the title given his advantage.
"Jenson has more chance, he has a good possibility to score not a lot of points, and be World Champion," Massa said. "I think he has the most clear possibility to win the championship in case of Rubens, as I said before, he can just concentrate on wining the race, the result will be what it will be. I think Jenson has more chance."