Massa cleared for practice after hospital scare

Felipe Massa

Felipe Massa was cleared to take part in final Hungarian Grand Prix free practice session on Saturday after a health scare triggered fears the Williams driver would be unable to race.

Media reports had indicated the team’s experienced British reserve Paul di Resta, who last raced in 2013 with Force India, was being readied to step in for the 36-year-old.

“Felipe was feeling unwell and dizzy after FP2 so went to the hospital purely as a precaution to check he was okay,” a team spokeswoman said.

“He has seen the FIA medical delegate at the circuit this morning who is happy that he is fit to continue driving this weekend. They will do a further routine check after FP3 (third practice) to ensure he is fine ahead of qualifying.”

Massa had been due to leave Formula One at the end of last season but returned after Valtteri Bottas moved to Mercedes as replacement for retired 2016 world champion Nico Rosberg.

Hungary has been a race of special significance for the Brazilian since he suffered near-fatal head injuries after being hit on the helmet by a bouncing spring during qualifying in 2009.

The then-Ferrari driver spent several days in hospital in an induced coma after that incident.

This report has been updated here:

Di Resta steps up to replace ill Massa in Hungary