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The Circuit

Injured Massa aims to be at Interlagos

  • Story Highlights
  • Formula One star Felipe Massa has had successful plastic surgery on his skull
  • The Brazilian driver plans to attend his home grand prix in mid-October
  • Massa suffered horrific head injuries after a freak accident in Hungary in July
  • Ferrari have brought in Force India's Giancarlo Fisichella to replace him
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(CNN) -- Felipe Massa has revealed that he hopes to be at his home Brazilian Grand Prix -- but he won't be behind the wheel of his Ferrari.

Felipe Massa has been given the all-clear to begin training as he bids to return to the race track.

Felipe Massa has been given the all-clear to begin training as he bids to return to the race track.

The 28-year-old had aimed to be able to return to racing before the end of this Formula One season, but is resigned to getting fit for 2010 following his horrific crash in July.

Massa is now able to begin his rehabilitation after having plastic surgery on Monday to repair the broken bone in his cranium that resulted when a loose spring from Rubens Barrichello's Brawn hit him in the helmet during qualifying in Hungary.

The operation, at the Sao Paulo's Albert Einstein hospital, took around four and a half hours, Ferrari revealed on its official Web site.

Massa told UK newspaper The Guardian that his next step was to head to Europe to use a simulator and drive go-karts as part of his fitness evaluation.

He had hoped to return to action at Interlagos -- where his 2008 world championship dream was crushed by Lewis Hamilton despite winning the race -- on October 18, but said that he would only be there as a spectator.

"That was the race I wanted to come back in, but it's difficult to say if it would've been possible. It will be difficult to watch it, but I will be there," Massa said.

He told Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera that he still held a slim hope of driving in the final race of this season in Abu Dhabi on November 1.

"In 2010 I'll be back for sure and 100%, but it would be a dream to drive in Abu Dhabi," Massa said.

Massa will be replaced by Giancarlo Fisichella for the final five races of 2009, with the veteran Italian having been released from his contract by Force India to take over from test driver Luca Badoer.

He said he had never doubted that he would that he would get behind the wheel of a Formula One car again.

"It is my life," Massa, who is expecting his first child in November, told The Guardian. "For me, the worst thing that happened was not being able to race. If you can't drive that's terrible.

"But my wife has already asked me, at least 10 times, 'Are you sure you don't feel any doubts or worries?'

"Always, I say, 'No, because this is what I like to do.' If I don't drive then I am not the same person. Ever since I was a small boy this is my life. This is what I like to do.

"So I really hope, and expect, nothing will change inside me when I go back into the car and start pushing myself to the maximum again."

All About Felipe MassaKimi RaikkonenGiancarlo FisichellaRobert KubicaMichael SchumacherLuca BadoerFormula One RacingMotorsportsBrain Injuries

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