As Felipe Massa goes into his final home race this weekend and his penultimate race F1 Vault’s team reflect on his F1 career from the heart break in Sau Paulo to the near death crash in Budapest.
Five defining moments
- Sau Paulo 2008
the local hero Felipe Massa drove brilliantly to take victory in changing conditions to seal momentarily a world championship on home soil as it looked very likely he would take that title. Massa drove brilliantly to win at his home race but untimely he did what he needed to take the title but other results made it go the other way to Lewis Hamilton.
- Sau Paulo 2006
Felipe Massa beat team-mate Michael Schumacher at a race he needed to win to take his eighth world title and what was expected to be his last race. He became the first home winner of the race since Ayrton Senna in 1993.
- Istanbul 2006
Massa had to fight going into turn one but came out ahead following a fight behind him between Alonso and Shumacher. He was jumped during the safety car by Schumacher during the pit stop. With Alonso behind him he managed to get passed his team-mate in the closing stages to take his debut victory.
- Hockenheim 2010
Massa looked to be in the be on course for his first win since his crash in Budapest the previous year. The Brazilian looked in fine form through-out that race before being ordered by engineer to let Fernando Alonso past. “Fernando is faster than you” was a blatant rule break by the team. I think that this subconsciously made him feel like a number two.
- Hungary 2009
Hungary was one of Massa’s lowest points of his career after a freak accident nearly cost him his life after a spring fell off the car of Rubens Barchello’s Brawn hitting him in the head. This left him unconscious and fighting for his life.
Massa’s F1 Career
Name: Felipe Massa
Born: 25 April 1981
Debut: 2002 Australian Grand Prix
Races: 250 (2489 starts)
Career Points: 1,122
(Correct at time of publishing)
What will he be remembered for?
Massa will be remembered as a man who held his own against three world champions (Michael Schumacher, Kimi Raikkonen and Fernando Alonso) during his time at Ferrari. He will also be remembered as 39 second world champion for that number one race.
Massa had a long career and has driven for Ferrari during that spell the Brazilian was at his best driving against some of the best drivers. He hasn’t lived up to his 2008 performance but he was at his best during that year. But he has nothing to regret for his career and can be proud at his career.
In his own words
This is what he said when he announced his retirement . “My career has been more than I ever expected and I am proud of what I have achieved. Finally, it is a great honour to finish my career at such an amazing team as Williams Martini Racing.”
F1 Vault’s Analyst Jason Fluhrer –
“First podium last podium as a 16 year old I’m only able to remember the later parts of Massa’s career although I have looked back and watched some of his best moments over the years he is an outstanding driver and I don’t know how he leaves Formula One without a title to his name.”