Felipe Massa says he is highly unlikely to race again this season, despite admitting that he had initially hoped to compete in the season closer in Abu Dhabi.
The injured Ferrari driver has been using the team's simulator this week and will test a 2007 Formula 1 car next Monday, but he now thinks the chances of him being fit for the Yas Marina race in three weeks' time are very remote.
"I hope that I'll be back soon, but I also know that the best thing is that I'm coming back 100 percent at the start of the next season," Massa wrote in an online chat with fans on Ferrari's website. "My dream would be to race in Abu Dhabi, but the possibility is really, really low."
Despite not expecting to be fit to race before 2010, Massa was pleased with what he had managed in the simulator this week and is optimistic about his upcoming run in the F2007 - which he confirmed is scheduled for Monday next week.
"I spent two very intense and interesting days driving at Barcelona and then at Interlagos and Abu Dhabi [on the simulator]," Massa wrote. "Tomorrow I'll go to Paris for some medical check-ups at the FIA and on Monday, if the weather is fine, I should finally be behind the wheel of a Formula 1 single-seater. I hope that I can do many miles and do well, not only in terms of performance but also as far as constant lap times are concerned.
"I'm confident and I think that there won't be any problems. It's true that a Formula 1 vibrates a lot and there is lots of physical stress, but I'm used to it."
Massa made his initial return to the track in a kart in Brazil, and said he had noticed no ill-effects from his head injury during that test.
"It was great," he said. "Being on the track again and feeling the curb is just a great feeling, and it was as if nothing had changed."