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Will Massa smell coffee in Brazil?

2011-11-23 08:34

FRIENDS - BACK THEN... Ferrari's Felipe Massa (left) and Lewis Hamilton shake hands before the 2008 Brazilian F1 GP. Image: AFP


SAO PAULO, Brazil - Sunday's 2011 Brazilian Formula 1 GP will be a special one for Felipe Massa.

Not only will the 30-year-old Brazilian, who has competed in 152 GP races, be participating in his home event but it will also be his 100th race for Ferrari.


"Indeed, this will be a very important weekend for me," Massa said. "It will also mark the end of the 10th year since I first drove in Formula 1, although not 10 years of competition - I was a Ferrari test driver in 2003.

"Fortunately, I am still young and there is more to come, but 10 years is a landmark in an F1 driver's career. Then there are my six years racing for the Scuderia, competing in 100 GP races for the team, which makes me one of the drivers who has raced the most for this team.

"Therefore, putting it all together, 10 years of F1, 100 races for Ferrari and all of it at home here in Brazil. It will be an emotional time... and I would like to add a good race result to it."

Massa has 11 GP wins - two of them in Brazil. "They were both incredible," he remembered, "even the one in 2008 when I won and came so very close to winning the Drivers' title."

In 2008 Massa was leading and seemed destined to make up a seven-point lead that McLaren's Lewis Hamilton had going into the race but the Briton managed to overtake Timo Glock through the final corner to secure the fourth place-finish he needed to win the championship.

"My first win at home was the realisation of a dream... for a Brazilian to win at home is almost like winning the World championship, so for those reasons the 2006 victory at Interlagos was the better of those two."


This 2011 season has been disappointing for Massa; he hasn't been on the podium all season. He's sixth on the Drivers' log with 108 points - 266 behind champion Sebastian Vettel and 137 behind team mate Fernando Alonso.

"This has not been a fantastic season for me," he conceded, "but neither has it been for the team."

Massa's has a Ferrari contract for 2012 but has been told he must prove himself. Ferrari's president Luca di Montezemolo said on Italian TV that "even if he didn't have such a great season or much luck, we can't question the ability of a driver who has always been fast and competitive".

"Let's hope he can finish the season with a good result in Brazil. We expect great things from him in 2012 and then we'll decide how to proceed. Let's say he'll have to prove himself next season."

Stay with Wheels24 for the F1 weekend.


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