Can Massa and Glock Regain Competitiveness After Their Injuries?

Adam Flinn@@F1AdamCorrespondent INovember 9, 2009

BUDAPEST, HUNGARY - JULY 25:  F.I.A. doctor Gary Hartstein talks with a Ferrari team member following qualifying for the Hungarian Formula One Grand Prix at the Hungaroring on July 25, 2009 in Budapest, Hungary.  (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)
Paul Gilham/Getty Images

As I am sure you will remember, Felipe Massa and Timo Glock had their 2009 seasons cut short after accidents sidelined them for the rest of the year. Unfortunately for the pair, they both seemed to happen just as they were picking up form.

Massa's accident in Hungary was off the back of his first podium of the year, and five consecutive points finishes, and Glock's crash in Japan had just come after a second place at Singapore in one of the best drives of his career.

But one of the most consistently asked questions, especially with Massa, is how well will they be able to perform after their injury-hit 2009?

For Timo Glock, I don't think there will be any problems. The injury wasn't too serious, and as long as he can find a decent drive, he should be back to full form at the beginning of 2010.

Massa's situation is a bit more complicated. He was lucky to emerge from the crash alive, and it was a good few months before he was back to relative fitness. There have also been some concerns with his eyesight, and even possibly brain damage, but happily there don't seem to be any problems.

Personally, I think he will be absolutely fine. Some people might think that he might be a bit cautious when he gets back behind the wheel, and might not be able to perform as well as he has done in the last couple of seasons.

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However, testing should help him get back in the groove, and any anxieties about driving at full speed should quickly disappear.

If we look back in history, there are many examples of drivers coming off the back of injuries, and performing just as they had done before. When Michael Schumacher broke his leg in 1999, he was off for six races. He then decided to win the following five world championships.

Niki Lauda was almost burned to death in 1976, but still came back to just miss out on the championship to James Hunt. He won the 1977 title anyway.

Gerhard Berger missed three races in 1997 due to illness. When he returned to the cockpit, he won his first race in three years.

There doesn't seem to be any reason why either Massa, or Glock can't regain their competitiveness by the time Bahrain 2010 comes along. We will have to wait and see what happens, but I can't see any problems.

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