Formula One driver Felipe Massa took his first steps Wednesday since a high-speed crash in Budapest, Hungary, last weekend left him near death.
Massa’s father said his improving son had moved out of AEK hospital’s intensive care unit.
“Felipe speaks, can sit upright and was even able to take his first steps,” Ferrari said in a statement. “From the clinical and radiological point of view, everything is going extremely well.”
The 28-year-old Brazilian was hit in the helmet by a loose part from another car and crashed into a protective tire barrier at 120 mph during qualifying Saturday at the Hungarian Grand Prix. He sustained skull fractures and a concussion.
Massa’s father, Luiz Antonio, said his son still doesn’t remember the accident.
He expected Massa to be transferred to a hospital in Paris as soon as Thursday, but doctors told him his son was likely to remain in Budapest until Sunday.
In a related note, seven-time Formula One champion Michael Schumacher will make a comeback for Ferrari to replace Massa.
Ferrari said in a statement that the German had agreed to get back into the cockpit until Massa is fit to return. The next race is the European Grand Prix from Aug. 21 to 23 in Valencia, Spain.
• MAYFIELD SUIT — Jeremy Mayfield’s stepmother sued the suspended NASCAR driver in Statesville, N.C., claiming he made slanderous, false and defamatory statements.
In civil court papers filed in civil court, Lisa Mayfield argues that her stepson falsely accused her of killing his father and taking money from NASCAR. She’s seeking compensatory and punitive damages of more than $10,000 each and “further relief as the Court may deem just and proper.”
Jeremy Mayfield’s comments in several interviews came after his stepmother signed an affidavit claiming she witnessed him taking methamphetamine at least 30 times in seven years. Her affidavit was part of a NASCAR filing asking the federal judge who lifted the driver’s drug suspension to reinstate the ban.
The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has since ruled in NASCAR’s favor to keep Mayfield off the track.
The driver has denied ever using the illegal drug.