Massa leaves hospital after accident

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The Independent Online

Injured Formula One driver Felipe Massa left a Budapest hospital after nine days of treatment today, boarding a private jet home to Brazil on his own feet.

Ferrari's Massa, who fractured his skull in an accident during qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix, was seen smiling and shaking hands with officials at Budapest's Ferihegy International Airport.

His left eye was badly bruised but slightly open and there were no bandages over the line of stitches on his left temple.

The 28-year-old, last year's championship runner-up, spent several days in an induced coma and on a respirator but was released from an intensive care unit last Wednesday.

His physician, Dino Altmann, has said Massa was expected to make a full recovery but needed rest and there was no timetable for his return to Formula One.

In the interim, seven-time Formula One world champion Michael Schumacher will replace Massa for Ferrari.