FERRARI'S FELIPE MASSA has cleared an important hurdle in his road to recovery after completing his first F1 test since recovering from an accident which nearly claimed his life at Hungary this year.
The Brazilian completed 100km at the team?s private test track at Fiorano, alongside Ferrari?s Maranello factory, where he sat behind the wheel of a privately owned F2007 fitted with Bridgestone GP2 tyres.
Massa said it felt like he had never been away from the cockpit while he completed the test, which had been delayed by a number of hours due to the onset of rain.
He said: "The moment I got into the car it was exactly like before the accident, as if nothing had happened.
?It was important to demonstrate to the people who work with me, that nothing has changed, that I can be competitive and that I can contribute to what will be the new car and to next year?s fight for the title.?
The 2008 championship runner-up admitted he had doubts over his preparedness to drive a Formula 1 car in the lead up the test, but said any concerns he had were evaporated by its success.
?I knew that everything was alright 95%, but after today I can even cancel the last 5% of doubt, I still might have had,? he said.
?It would have been great coming back to race in Interlagos, because it?s a track where I?ve always brought out the best, with two wins and three pole positions and just missing the victory in a World Championship, but I will be as happy just being there supporting my team.?
With the focus now on 2010, Massa was inevitably questioned on his thoughts regarding the prospect of racing alongside Fernando Alonso next season.
He said: ?Alonso is a good professional. So I don't see why there should be any problem with him. He isn't coming here to become my best friend, what's important is the professional relationship.?