Ferrari driver Felipe Massa [ Images ] had successful plastic surgery on his fractured skull at a Sao Paulo hospital on Monday, the Italian team said on their website (www.ferrari.com).
The operation lasted four and a half hours and after a short stay in hospital, the Brazilian will be able to go home and continue his rehabilitation ready for a return to racing next year.
"You need to think about luck in different ways. I was actually very unlucky with the spring in my face," Massa was quoted as saying in The Guardian.
"But I was very lucky as well. One millimetre to the left and who knows? I could have been brain damaged."
Meanwhile, the Brazilian is believed to have given his full backing to his replacment.
"I spoke to Massa on the phone, he said he was happy for me and that it had been the right decision to choose me," Fisichella told a news conference at Ferrari's [ Images ] Maranello base.
"I said I was really sorry for what happened to him and to recover quickly. 'When you want the car back, come and take it because this is your car. I hope to achieve what you would have,' I said."
Massa, whose previous replacement Luca Badoer [ Images ] was dropped after two poor races, is not scheduled to race again until next year