Felipe Massa


When this pop­u­lar, re­spected racer an­nounced his re­tire­ment, his pad­dock peers couldn’t wait to get his views on a va­ri­ety of sub­jects

In an emo­tional press con­fer­ence at Monza, Felipe Massa re­vealed that this sea­son of F1, his 14th, will be his last. Massa, 35, chose to make the an­nounce­ment at the Ital­ian GP, just as his great friend and Fer­rari men­tor Michael Schu­macher had done 10 years ear­lier.

For eight sea­sons Massa was a Fer­rari racer and scored all of his 11 wins with the Scud­e­ria. Two land­marks stand out in his ca­reer: the cham­pi­onship he held for a mat­ter of sec­onds un­til Lewis Hamil­ton passed Timo Glock at the nal corner of the 2008 Brazil­ian GP to snatch the ti­tle from Massa’s grasp; and the accident that nearly cost him his life.

Massa sat out the sec­ond half of 2009 af­ter he was in­jured by a spring that broke off Rubens Bar­richello’s Brawn dur­ing qual­i­fy­ing for the Hun­gar­ian GP. A year later, on the an­niver­sary of that accident, he was lead­ing in Ger­many when the now in­fa­mous call came through from race en­gi­neer Rob Smed­ley: “Felipe, Fer­nando is faster than you. Do you conrm you un­der­stand that mes­sage?” Du­ti­fully he pulled over and won many ad­mir­ers that day for his dignied re­sponse – just as he had the day he lost the ti­tle.

When Massa, now into his third sea­son at Wil­liams, bids farewell at the end of the year, it will be an emo­tional oc­ca­sion. Like Jen­son But­ton, he has en­joyed a long ca­reer in the sport and com­mands great re­spect from his peers.

To demon­strate that, we’re mark­ing his re­tire­ment with a spe­cial twist on our ‘You Ask The Ques­tions’ for­mat, in which the ques­tions come from the great and the good of Formula 1. What­ever Massa does next, he’ll be re­mem­bered in F1 for his good grace and sports­man­ship. We’ll miss his sense of hu­mour, his pas­sion and his ever-present family. With that in mind, what bet­ter place to be­gin than this query from his for­mer Fer­rari team-mate Fer­nando Alonso…

Your son Felip­inho plays football very well. When he grows up, would you rather he be­came a foot­baller or an F1 driver? Fer­nando Alonso F1 world cham­pion in 2005 and 2006 I would say a football player is much bet­ter since that will be a lot cheaper for me! I’ve al­ready told him that if he wants to play football, I’ll pay for that bud­get. But if he wants to be an F1 driver, then I’ll be re­ally re­stricted in money – and he’ll have to nd a spon­sor.

Felipe, Formula 1 world cham­pion or the win­ning goal scorer for Brazil in a World Cup Fi­nal – which would you choose? Pat Sy­monds Chief tech­ni­cal ofcer, Wil­liams Well, I have to say Formula 1 world cham­pion – that has al­ways been my dream and, ac­tu­ally, Brazil have won ev­ery­thing in football al­ready. We are the only coun­try who have won the World Cup ve times and now we also have the Olympic gold for football, achieved this sum­mer in Brazil.

What was the most im­por­tant les­son you learnt dur­ing your rst sea­son in F1? Jo Ramírez For­mer McLaren team co-or­di­na­tor In my rst sea­son I learnt a mas­sive amount. I was only 20 years old, which was re­ally young. I had no ex­pe­ri­ence in F1 prior to com­ing into a race, all I had was a few tests at the end of 2001. I was al­ways very quick, very com­pet­i­tive, but I was just a kid and all I wanted was to go as

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