FERRARI last night left the door open for seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher to make a sensational return to F1 as a replacement for Felipe Massa.<br /><br />The Italian team responded to suggestions the 40-year-old could step in for Massa on a short-term basis following a day of mixed messages from Schumacher’s camp.<br /><br />Brazilian Massa, who fractured his skull during qualifying for Sunday’s Hungarian Grand Prix, continues to recover but his future in the sport remains in serious doubt.<br /><br />And Schumacher, who won five titles for the team and continues to work for them as an advisor, is seen as a natural temporary substitute.<br /><br />“We have said before that it is possible that Michael Schumacher could return to help us out,” said Ferrari spokesman Luca Colajanni. “However, we have two test drivers at Ferrari Luca Badoer and Marc Gene at the moment and Michael is an advisor.<br /><br />“We have not spoken to him, but it is possible that this might happen. It is something for team boss Stefano Domenicali to consider over the coming weeks.”<br /><br />Schumacher’s manager Willi Weber had earlier insisted he was “200 per cent sure” the German would not make a comeback. “Whoever sits in the car at the next race in Valencia, it will not be Michael Schumacher,” he added. <br /><br />Weber’s comments came after Schumacher’s spokeswoman Sabine Kehm had said the former Benetton driver, who retired in 2006, would consider an offer. “If they approach Michael, then he will consider it,” said Kehm. “Usually, I would say he’s not interested because he’s fine with his life and he doesn’t miss anything but now the situation is so different.”<br /><br />Massa’s was yesterday able to open his left eye, giving his doctor Dino Altman hope that Massa avoided lasting damage. “He can see,” Altmann said. “There’s no apparent damage. The eye is morphologically healthy.”<br /><br />Massa’s doctor in Budapest, Peter Bazso, added that he could be discharged within 10 days. “My expectation is that he would walk out of the hospital on his own,” he said.