The 29-year-old Brazilian said he was not at all troubled by any bad memories once he pulled down his visor on Friday, but felt emotional towards the “extraordinary people” who worked to save his life after he suffered serious head injuries when he crashed in the 2009 race.
“Returning to driving at this track was not difficult for me — when you are in the car and you shut the visor, you only think bout going quickly!,” Massa said.
“It is the same at every track and for every race!
“It was definitely good yesterday (Thursday) to go to the medical centre and meet the people who took care of me immediately after the accident.
“And it was equally emotional to have dinner with the surgeon who operated on me at Budapest’s AEK hospital.
“I wish to take this opportunity to once again thank everyone for what they did for me one year ago — they are really extraordinary people.”
Massa was deprived of a possible victory in Germany at Hockenheim last weekend when team-mate Fernando Alonso triumphed thanks to Ferrari “team orders” but said that he felt as committed to the team as ever.
He declined to add any comments to the many made in the wake of the controversial incident last Sunday, but concentrated only his and the team’s performance.
“As has generally been the case this year, we need to work on our performance on the first timed lap,” he said.
“But in terms of race pace, I would say we are pretty good — as was also demonstrated in Hockenheim.”
Alonso, whose victory last weekend elevated him to within 34 points of championship leader Lewis Hamilton, remained focused and hard-headed as he surveyed the season and the race ahead after finishing second quickest.
“I hope we can stay close to our main rivals, who seemed very strong today and be able to fight them in Q3 tomorrow (Saturday) afternoon,” he said.
“For now, we are still a bit behind by a few tenths, even if we won’t know the truth until qualifying. We certainly need to work on the set-up of the car to improve its performance, especially in the second and third sectors.”