FERRARI'S FELIPE MASSA may be able to make a full recovery from the injuries he sustained at the Hungarian Grand Prix according to doctors at Budapest?s AEK Hospital, where Massa is being treated.
Reports in Britain overnight suggested Massa had sustained eye damage, which could possibly end his Formula One career, but Colonel Dr Lajos Zsiros, Chief Surgeon of the Hungarian Defence Forces, has denied those claims.
Speaking at a news conference, Dr Zsiros said Massa had been awoken from sedation and is actively communicating with family members.
"In the last 24 hours some major changes have gone through in the condition of Felipe Massa. His condition continues to be stable,? he said.
"During the CT-scan we performed we could ascertain that there was an improvement in his condition. We stopped sedation and after that Felipe Massa became capable of making contact."
"So in the afternoon we stopped the artificial ventilation of Felipe. As we speak he is sleepy, but he gives adequate answers to the questions we ask him, and he can move his arms and legs spontaneously."
However, Dr Zsiros added the hospital is unable to determine whether the 2008 World Championship runner-up has sustained any permanent damage at the moment.
"There is no interval which we can define, but I would say it should be from one week to ten days,? he said.
Ferrari President Luca di Montezemolo visited Massa on Monday to provide support to the Brazilian?s family, who remain by his bedside.
Di Montezemolo praised the staff at AEK Hospital for swiftly bringing Massa?s condition under control.
"I'm confident and optimistic about Felipe's capacity to recover, also because he has excellent medical care and I want to thank the staff at the AEK hospital for the work they're doing,? he said.
With Massa set to be sidelined for at least two months, rumours have been rife regarding who will replace the 11-time Grand Prix winner at Valencia as the in-season testing ban means there exists a dearth of drivers who could be considered race fit.
Although Ferrari has established test drivers Marc Gene and Luca Badoer at its disposal, recently ousted Scuderia Toro Rosso driver Sebastien Bourdais has been touted as a potential replacement at Valencia.
However, as Renault F1 is banned from participating in the next event, Formula One commercial boss Bernie Ecclestone said he would like to see Fernando Alonso fill the seat, if only for one round
"If Renault would release Alonso, and if Ferrari want him, it would be the best thing for Formula One, for Valencia, for everybody,? he said.
However, Di Montezemolo said Ferrari's management is yet to discuss arrangements regarding a temporary replacement for Massa, although he admitted he would meet with team principal Stefano Domenicali to consider their options.
"Our priority is the recovery of Felipe as a man. He has been with us for a long time and he is part of the family and not just of the team. We're all waiting for him at Ferrari and I'm convinced that we'll see him again in one of our single-seaters and that he will be again on top,? he said.
"I'm heading back to Maranello with Domenicali, who will make suggestions how to substitute the Brazilian driver until he returns, which I hope will be very soon. We'll make a decision when the time is right, considering that there's a break of a month now."