Felipe Massa insists his crash during opening practice for the Belgian Grand Prix had nothing to do with the illness that ruled him out of the Hungarian Grand Prix.
The Williams driver was attempting his first flying lap in the opening stages of the first practice session at Spa-Francorchamps when he ran wide at Malmedy and slammed into the barriers. The impact caused significant damage to the left-hand side of the Brazilian's FW40, forcing his team to complete a chassis change following an inspection.
Under article 25.5 of Formula One's sporting regulations, a driver cannot run again on the same day if a chassis change is needed because the car must be re-scrutineered, meaning Massa had to sit out of second practice in the afternoon. Massa, who pulled out of the Hungarian Grand Prix weekend ahead of qualifying after suffering from vertigo, is adamant he has fully recovered from the ill-health he suffered earlier this month.
"I didn't feel dizzy any more since the week after Hungary -- for sure I didn't crash because of that," Massa explained. "I didn't expect to have this problem in the first lap of the session. I just lost the rear when I touched the inside curb in corner seven and I couldn't really correct the car. The run-off area is so small here and I had a crash.
"It was quite a big crash so the car was completely damaged and we had to change the chassis, and then the FIA didn't let us go out because they need to check the car and they couldn't do it. So it was really a shame because we just lost two sessions. For sure it's a day to forget for the team."
Massa will effectively have to restart his weekend on Saturday having managed just a handful of installation laps around one of F1's most demanding and challenging circuits. The threat of adverse weather is also looming over the remainder of the weekend -- following a downpour in FP2 -- further adding to his challenge.
"I hope we can fix everything and understand the car. I don't have enough time to understand the car, this is a shame, but I really hope tomorrow can be a completely different day. I think when you miss two sessions for sure it doesn't help.
"You can learn the car and understand the set-up and track and everything, but we will try everything we can tomorrow. I hope for the best conditions that can help me, so we will see what is going to happen tomorrow."