Formula 1 2013 driver profile: Felipe Massa
The Brazilian driver has become used to playing second fiddle to Fernando Alonso, but his loyalty to Ferrari makes him the ideal team player
Birth date: 25/04/1981
First F1 race: Australian Grand Prix, 2002
2012 points: 122
2012 best finish: 2
2012 championship position: 7
Felipe Massa was left in no doubt where he stood with Ferrari during the German Grand Prix in 2010. Through his radio he heard the now infamous words: “Fernando is faster than you. Can you confirm you understood the message?”
It was a poorly concealed instruction to move over and let Alonso win the race, and it seems to have summed up his career ever since.
It’s sad to see how his career has slipped given that in 2008 he came so close to the driver championship, eventually losing by a single point to winner Lewis Hamilton.
A freak accident during qualifying in Hungary in 2009 ended his season and almost cost him his career when his skull was fractured after being hit by a loose spring from another car. He’s stuck with Ferrari through thick and thin, but if he doesn’t at least come close to Alonso’s pace this season he may lose his seat to a younger star.
2013 predictions: “I want to be competitive in 2013, start winning again and challenge for the championship. I have done it before and it’s something that you don’t forget how to do.”
Did you know? Felipe Massa got his first experience of his native Brazilian Grand Prix when he was 17 – by delivering pizzas to the team garages.