Schumi drops in on injured friend

Seven-times Formula One world champion Michael Schumacher, pictured, paid a hospital visit on Saturday to injured Ferrari driver Felipe Massa, whose doctor confirmed he would travel home next week.

Seven-times Formula One world champion Michael Schumacher, pictured, paid a hospital visit on Saturday to injured Ferrari driver Felipe Massa, whose doctor confirmed he would travel home next week.

The German had announced he would replace his friend Massa in the Ferrari team for the European Grand Prix race in Valencia, Spain, on August 23, and possibly for the rest of the season.

Schumacher arrived at Budapest's AEK hospital along with former Ferrari boss Jean Todt, but both left without speaking to journalists.

The Brazilian's father, Luiz Antonio Massa, told AFP however: "Felipe was very happy that Schumacher was going to be his substitute and he joked he was ready to race already.

"He could also travel with a commercial airline, but in a private plane it will be more comfortable.

"He will pass through a Brazilian hospital just to do some checks and then he will rest at home."

Massa's brother Eduardo also said: "I am sure he will be driving as soon as it is possible." Massa's personal physician Dino Altman said on Saturday that the driver's condition was continuing to improve.

"He is recovering well, he was walking in the corridors last night... everything is going in the right direction," Altman told journalists in front of the hospital.

"He is anxious to go home which shows that he is feeling well.

"We think he will be able to fly home on Monday," the Brazilian doctor said, without specifying when the pilot would be discharged.

Massa was badly injured when he was hit at around 250km/h by a spring that flew off compatriot Rubens Barrichello's Brawn car during qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix on Saturday.

The 28-year-old driver underwent surgery on his fractured skull.

He was taken out of intensive care on Wednesday. - Sapa-AFP

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