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Ferrari honours departing Massa

2013-11-11 08:46

A TRIBUTE TO A FERRARI VETERAN: Eight years, 11 wins and 36 podiums... Ferrari salutes veteran driver Felipe Massa who will be replaced by Kimi Raikkonnen in 2014. Image: AP

ALAN BALDWIN

MUGELLO, Italy - Felipe Massa said farewell to thousands of Ferrari fans in Italy in November 2013and received a trophy nearly as tall as himself to celebrate his time with the Formula 1 team.

Massa said: "I've been lucky. I've had a great career with Ferrari, longer than I had ever dreamed of at the start."

He was addressing reporters after appearing at a Ferrari event at the Mugello track in front of 15 000 people.

Massa, who still has to drive races in Texas and Brazil before he is replaced by Kimi Raikkonen in 2014, had his first F1 test at the same track with Sauber back in 2001.

'TRUE FERRARI MAN'

Massa said: "When I began racing karts as a kid I had a red Ferrari suit and it's always been the team I supported. Even when (Ayrton) Senna was at McLaren and (Nelson) Piquet was at Williams, I was cheering for Ferrari."

Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo and other senior management presented the 1.6m-tall driver with a 1.2m-tall silver trophy engraved with the names of the 11 GP's he won for the team.

Montezemolo said: "Felipe has been a true Ferrari man and will always be part of our history. I think the decision to go our separate ways is the right one, both for us and for him. It's time for a change and also to find new motivation."

Massa has yet to announce his plans for 2014 although he has said he hopes to stay in F1.
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