Massa at the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve
|Formula One World Championship career|
|2008 car #||2|
|2009 car #||4|
|Races||106 (105 starts)|
|First race||2002 Australian Grand Prix|
|First win||2006 Turkish Grand Prix|
|Last win||2008 Brazilian Grand Prix|
|Last race||2008 Brazilian Grand Prix|
|2008 position||2nd (97 pts)|
Felipe Massa (born April 25, 1981 in São Paulo) is a Brazilian Formula One racing driver, currently employed by Scuderia Ferrari team. He finished second in the 2008 Drivers' World Championship, and is under contract to race for Scuderia Ferrari until the end of the 2010 season.
Massa, a Brazilian whose grandfather came to Brazil from the city of Cerignola, Italy, began karting when he was 8 years old, finishing fourth in his first season. He continued in national and international championships for 7 years, and in 1998 he moved into Formula Chevrolet, finishing the Brazilian championship in fifth. In the next season, he won 3 of the 10 races and took the championship. In 2000, he moved to Europe to compete in the Italian Formula Renault series, winning both the Italian and the European Formula Renault championship in the same year. Whilst having the opportunity to move into Formula 3, he opted instead for the Formula 3000 Euro-Series, and was dominant, winning 6 of the 8 races to take the championship. He was offered an F1 test with the Sauber team, who promptly signed him for 2002. In the meantime he drove for Alfa Romeo in the European Touring Car Championship as a guest driver.
Formula One career
Sauber (2002, 2004-2005)
In his rookie year in Formula 1, Massa was paired with 1999 F3000 champion Nick Heidfeld at the Sauber team. Massa showed he was a competitive driver, but made several mistakes during his rookie season, including spinning off the track on several occasions. Massa scored 4 championship points in his first season, with a best result of 5th place at the Spanish Grand Prix at the Circuit de Catalunya. Massa suffered a one race suspension late in the season, forcing him to miss the United States Grand Prix. Heinz-Harald Frentzen, Sauber's former driver drove for Massa in that race. Although Massa returned to the driver's seat for the Japanese Grand Prix, Sauber confirmed that Frentzen would partner Heidfeld in 2003, leaving Massa without a race seat. Instead, Massa spent a year with Sauber's engine suppliers, Ferrari, gaining experience through testing for the championship-winning team.
After gaining more experience and demonstrating that his mistake rate had declined, Sauber re-signed Massa for the 2004 season. In 2004, Massa scored 12 of Sauber's 34 points, with his best result being a fourth place finish at the Belgian Grand Prix. His teammate, Giancarlo Fisichella, scored the team's other 22 points. In 2005, Massa remained with Sauber. Although he only scored 11 points, Massa outpaced his teammate Jacques Villeneuve through most of the season, and beat him in the drivers' championship. In 2006, Massa re-joined Ferrari as a race-driver, alongside Michael Schumacher.
Massa got a good start at Ferrari, qualifying second at the opening race in Bahrain, and coming from 21st position to 5th in Malaysia, beating teammate Michael Schumacher, who had started from 14th. However, in Bahrain, in both Saturday practice and the race, Massa seemed to resume his tendency to spin, narrowly missing eventual winner Fernando Alonso in the race. He kept up his reputation as being a bit on the wild side at the Australian GP when he crashed his Ferrari in qualifying, and then collided with Christian Klien and Nico Rosberg at the first corner of the race. However, Massa scored his first career podium at the Nürburgring, finishing third, behind Michael Schumacher and Fernando Alonso. He also set the fastest lap at Barcelona in 2006. Massa achieved four more podium finishes in 2006, in the USA, France and Germany and took his first F1 pole position and his first F1 win at the 2006 Turkish Grand Prix, at the Istanbul Park circuit. His future position at Ferrari was secured when Michael Schumacher announced on 10 September 2006, that he would retire from F1 at the end of the 2006 season. On October 22, Massa won his home grand prix at the 2006 Brazilian Grand Prix, marking the first time a Brazilian driver had won at Interlagos since Ayrton Senna in 1993. The Brazilian eventually finished the season third with 80 points, behind world champion Fernando Alonso and Ferrari teammate Michael Schumacher.
Massa topped the time sheets on five occasions and set the fastest lap for four circuits during the 2007 pre-season testing. However, his 2007 season began with problems. At the season opening Australian Grand Prix, he suffered a gearbox problem during qualifying and required an engine change. Massa started the race from 22nd position due to these problems and a 10-grid-slot penalty for the engine change. He employed a one pitstop strategy for the race and finished in sixth place. Massa's problems continued in Malaysia, where despite qualifying on pole position, the McLarens of Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton overtook him at turn one. Massa ran off the track while attempting to overtake Hamilton, and lost two more places, dropping down to fifth place, where he finished the race. However, his season subsequently improved, as he won the Grands Prix of Bahrain and Spain, both from pole position, and finished third in Monaco.
The race stewards at the Canadian Grand Prix disqualified Massa for leaving the pit lane while the red light was showing.  After this disqualification, he won one more race at the 2007 Turkish Grand Prix, and finished on the podium at six more races, including a second place finish at his home grand prix at the Brazilian Grand Prix. Massa led much of the Brazilian Grand Prix, until yielding the lead to teammate Kimi Räikkönen, thus securing Räikkönen's world championship title. Massa finished the 2007 season ranked fourth in the drivers' standing with 94 points.
In October 2007, Massa extended his contract with Ferrari to the end of 2010.
|This article or section may be slanted towards recent events. Please try to keep recent events in historical perspective. (January 2009)|
Massa endured a terrible first race weekend of his third year at Ferrari. The team, surprisingly, looked off the pace as Massa qualified fourth and his race was even less successful, spinning off at the first corner of the first lap, on lap 26 he collided with David Coulthard and eventually retired due to engine failure.
Things brightened up in Malaysia as he qualified on pole, half a second clear of Räikkönen in P2, but the race itself didn't go as well. Massa led from pole in the first 16 laps but was jumped by Räikkönen in the pitstops. He was still in contention for the victory battle and was chasing Räikkönen until he spun off on lap 31 while in second and retired.
Massa went into Bahrain (where he won in 2007) with no points. He dominated the weekend, but Robert Kubica beat him down to second in qualifying. In the start, Massa beat Kubica even before the first corner. Räikkönen soon got up to second but he could not do a repeat of Malaysia. Massa was quicker and easily won by 3 seconds to open up his account. 
In Spain, Massa qualified third behind Räikkönen and Fernando Alonso. He passed Alonso at the start and got up to second behind Räikkönen. He stayed on his teammate's shadow for the whole race, but there was no way he could pass or get ahead in the stops. Massa had to settle for second.
Massa took pole position at the next round which was in Turkey. He led from the start, and maintained it during the round of pitsops, but was passed by Lewis Hamilton's three-stopping McLaren at the start of the second stint. Hamilton pulled away, but he did not have the pace to take the lead that was needed to make his third stop and still come out ahead of Massa. Massa was a full 7 seconds up the road by then and took his second win of the season, and his third consecutive at the circuit.
At Monaco Massa qualified on pole, to his surprise (he had mentioned prior to the weekend that he did not like the circuit) and built up a 15-second lead over Räikkönen in the rain, before that advantage was wiped out by the safety car. Soon Räikkönen was out of contention with a drive-through penalty. After the safety car went, Massa again started pulling away from Robert Kubica, but he ran up an escape road and lost the lead. Massa did jump Kubica in the pitstops but Lewis Hamilton's one-stopping McLaren was by now way ahead of both of them. During the pitstops, Massa was fueled to the end of the race and was struggling, holding Kubica up. The track dried out and Massa had to pit for dries while Kubica took his second fuel stop at the same time and jumped him. Massa thus finished third behind Hamilton and Kubica.
In the Canadian Grand Prix, with Massa qualifying way down in in 6th place. There was a safety car due to an incident involving Adrian Sutil. All drivers pitted, but Massa had to pit twice due to a delay with his fuel rig, which put him down in 17th. Massa then staged a brave fightback, charging back up to fifth place by the end of the race. Two main title contenders failed to finish after Hamilton collided with a stationary Räikkönen in the pitlane, allowing Massa to equal Hamilton, and jump ahaed of Räikkönen.
In the French Grand Prix, Massa qualified 2nd on the grid behind his teammate Räikkönen. Massa stayed some 3 to 4 seconds behind his teammate for the first half of the race. However, Räikkönen had a problem in his exhaust which allowed Massa to overtake him and win the race. This win gave Massa lead in the championship, 2 points ahead of Robert Kubica, 5 points ahead of Räikkönen and 10 points ahead of Hamilton. Massa was the first Brazilian to lead the championship since Ayrton Senna in the 1993 Formula One season.
In the British Grand Prix, Massa set the quickest time in 1st practice but immediately crashed. Things did not go any better during the rerst of the weekend, as he had his season worst qualifying in 9th. In the wet race, while Hamilton dominated and Räikkönen finished fourth, things made a turn for the worst as he spun an embarrassing five times and finished 13th, dead last, over a lap down behind both his rivals. This result was his lowest finish since 2007 when he finished 13th at the 2007 Hungarian Grand Prix as well as his worst of the season. And so, at the end of the halfway stage of the season, Hamilton, Massa and Räikkönen were deadlocked on 48 points, with Robert Kubica only 2 points behind them.
The tenth round of the season was in Germany. Massa qualified 2nd behind Hamilton. He stayed second and was set to finish there until a crash involving Timo Glock brought out the safety car. Due to a miscommunication, Hamilton stayed out while the others, led by Massa pitted. However, when all th stops were over, Massa was behind Nelson Piquet Jr. who was on a one-stopper. Also, when a charging Hamilton came at him towards the last 10 laps, Massa could not hold him off and finished third. After the race, Massa was 4 points behind Hamilton but 3 ahead of Räikkönen.
At the Hungarian Grand Prix, the McLarens who were looking dominant locked out the front row, and the best Massa could get was third. However, in the start itself, Massa passed both Heikki Kovalainen and pole sitter Hamilton on the run down to the first corner. He had the race in control ever since, and built up a five-second lead over Hamilton. When Hamilton suffered a puncture, Massa was left 20 seconds in front and seemed to have victory in the bag but with 3 laps remaining, an engine failure in the Ferrari took place and he failed to finish.
The twelfth round of the season, the European Grand Prix was in Valencia, Spain. Massa took pole position comfortably, and led right from the start. However, during his second pitstop, he was released from his first pitstop at the same time Adrian Sutil was passing by and they almost touched, with Massa letting Sutil go ahead. Although this cost Massa a second, it did nt matter, and he won with ease, also setting the fastest lap. After the race, the stewards decided to fine Massa €10,000 for the incident with Sutil, but he victory stood and he was only 6 points behind Hamilton as well as being 7 ahead of Räikkönen.
Next race was Belgium, and Massa this time was on the back foot, and qualified second behind Hamilton. He lost a place at the start to Räikkönen and stayed in third till Lap 42 of 44 when Hamilton passed Räikkönen for the lead, just after cutting a chicane. The two had more battles throughoutt that lap, which resulted in the Finn crashing out, promoting Massa to second. Hamilton crossed the line first, but was penalised 25 seconds by the stewards for cutting the chicane, and the win went to Massa putting him only 2 points behind Hamilton.
Going into Ferrari's home race in Italy, Massa was only 2 points behind Hamilton. The weekend was wet throughout, and Massa was off form too, qualifying only sixth, but he had a great chance to take the championship lead as Hamilton was down in 15th. During the race, Massa got up to third, but because he awas on a two-stopper, compared to many of the others, who were on a one-stopper, he dropped back down to sixth. He finished there, but sice Hamilton was only seventh, he was only 1 point behind him.
Massa took pole position for the Singapore Grand Prix, beating Hamilton's best time by six tenths of a second. Massa maintained the lead at the start and after 14 laps, was over 5 seconds ahead of Hamilton. However, a crash for Nelson Piquet Jr. brought out the safety car, bunching up all the cars together. It was time for the first round of stops, and Massa led the field. Massa was given the green light to go but the refueller was still refuelling the car. And so, Massa went off with the fuel rig and had to stop at the end of the pitlane. The mechanics ran the whole length of the pitlane and finally removed the rig, but Massa was now last. He was then given a drive-through penalty for an unsafe release, and was 15 seconds behind the rest of the field. His race ruined, he finished 13th and Hamilton who finished 3rd was 7 points ahead of him now.
At the Japanese Grand Prix Massa struggled in qualifying, having to settle for 5th on the grid. Meanwhile, Hamilton, his rival for the Championship, took pole position. In the race, there was an incident between Hamilton and Räikkönen at the start, dropping the foremr to sixth. Massa stayed fifth, a place in front of his rival. On the second lap, as Massa was stuck behind the slower car of Jarno Trulli, Hamilton tried to pass him. The result was a collision, with Hamilton spinning down to the back, and Massa dropping down to seven. He was given a drive-through penalty for that incident, and found himself down in 14th. He made a brave charge up the order, setting the fastest lap on his way to getting 8th and one point. This became seventh after a controversial 25-second time penalty was issued to Sébastien Bourdais, who was adjudged by the stewards to have caused a collision with Massa while exiting the pitlane. 
At the 2008 Chinese Grand Prix the following week Massa and teammate Räikkönen, despite strong performances at Fuji, struggled for pace the entire weekend, a situation which Domenicali (Ferrari team principal) could not explain. Disappointed with his performance in practice he managed to qualify 3rd behind the other Ferrari and title rival Hamilton, but in front of Fernando Alonso. Following the pattern of the weekend Massa struggled to keep up with Hamilton, who raced away and maintained a comfortable margin of him. Whilst he eventually found some speed after the graining period on the medium compound tyres, he was unable to catch Hamilton. As Räikkönen yielded second place to keep Massa's title hopes alive, Hamilton pulled his lead out to 7 in the Drivers championship.
Massa remained optimistic stating "For sure we are in a difficult position but we know many things can happen in one race" and "Always when you play at home you usually play better", as the last two years he finished strongly at Interlagos (a 1st in 2006 and a 2nd in 2007). At the last race of the season, the Brazilian Grand Prix the situation for Ferrari was: Felipe Massa was seven points behind Lewis Hamilton, meaning that Massa had to either finish first or second to win, and Hamilton had to be outside the top 5.
Qualifying went well, Massa qualifying on pole, while Räikkönen qualified 3rd, just ahead of Hamilton. There was a rainshower just before the start of the race, and thus all drivers started on intermediates. Massa maintained the lead, and after 10 laps everyone had to change to dries on a drying track. Although the order was shuffled, Massa still led. He dominated the rest of the race, set the fastest lap and won by 13 seconds even though everyone ahd to change to intermediates after a late rainshower. Hamilton, meanwhile, struggled for pace. He was lying fourth most of time behind Massa, Fernando Alonso and Räikkönen. Since Timo Glock gambled on staying out for dries, he was fourth with Hamilton fifth. With three laps to go, Massa still led while Hamilton was 5th. If the race stayed as it was Hamilton would win the Championship. Then, Hamilton, having made a mistake, was passed by Sebastien Vettel, moving Hamilton down to 6th. Going into the last lap, Hamilton was 6th and if the order stayed as it is, then Massa would have been the champion. Massa crossed the chequered flag and thought that he had won the championship. Hamilton was still sixth as he came up to the second-to-last corner, but passed Glock who was struggling for grip on his dry tyres and this moved Hamilton into 5th place. Crossing the line in 5th he won the Drivers title by a just a single point (if he had tied with Massa, by virtue of 6 victories to 5 in the season, Massa would have won). When Massa was informed by Domenicali that he had narrowly missed out on the title he was heart broken, yet graciously praised Hamilton for his victory.
Following the 2008 seasons F1.com called Massa "no more the nearly man" and emphatically stating he is "No more the Ferrari number two, Massa is now a contender". His maturity was also praised by Ferrari President Luca di Montezemolo, commenting "I can only imagine how painful that moment must have been for him. However, I would like to give him my very special compliments, not only for dominating the running out there on the track in front of his fans, proving he is worthy indeed of the world title, but also for his maturity and sportsmanship off the track. He's a great champion and a great man.".
During the course of the season, Massa had 6 pole positions - at the Malaysian, Turkish, Monaco, European, Singaporean and Brazilian Grands Prix. He had 3 fastest laps - at the European, Japanese and Brazilian Grands Prix. He had 6 wins - at the Bahrain, Turkish, French, European, Belgian and the Brazilian Grands Prix.
Felipe Massa will give the Ferrari F60 its shakedown test at Mugello at 8.30AM 12/1/09.
|Season||Series||Team Name||Races||Poles||Wins||Points||Final Placing|
|1998||Formula Chevrolet Brazil||?||?||?||?||?||5th|
|1999||Formula Chevrolet Brazil||?||10||?||3||?||1st|
|2000||Formula Renault 2000 Eurocup||Cram Competition||9||?||3||140||1st|
|Formula Renault 2000 Italy||Cram Competition||8||4||4||147||1st|
|2001||Euro Formula 3000||Draco Junior Team||8||6||6||60||1st|
|European Supertouring Championship||Team Nordauto||4||0||0||71||23rd|
|2003||Formula One||Ferrari||Test driver|
Complete Formula One results
(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position) (Races in italics indicate fastest lap)
Massa is a friend of Swiss watchmaker Richard Mille, who has dedicated several models of his watches to him (RM-005FM, RM-011).
Though Massa supports Brazilian football team São Paulo FC, he also supports the Turkish football team Fenerbahçe that was formerly coached by Zico. On 24 August 2007, Massa said: "Zico was my childhood idol, Roberto Carlos is my best friend. I am a Fenerbahçe fan, because it is just like a Brazilian team. I love Turkey, as I won my first championship race in Turkey, it has special value for me."
Massa holds a charity kart race, Desafio Internacional das Estrelas (International Challenge of the Stars) every year since 2005. Notably, many active top level Brazilian drivers have competed in the event, such as Formula One drivers Rubens Barrichello and Nelson Piquet Jr., drivers who competed in American open wheel events such as Tony Kanaan, Felipe Giaffone, Vitor Meira, Roberto Moreno, and Gil de Ferran, and Stock Car Brasil champion Cacá Bueno. In addition, Brazilian motorcycle racer Alex Barros has competed. Michael Schumacher and Luca Badoer joined the Brazilian contingent in 2007.
- "Massa to stay at Ferrari through 2010". autosport.com. 2007-10-16. http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/63353. Retrieved on 16 October 2007.
- BBC Sport Canadian Grand Prix Report
- "Felipe Massa of Ferrari wins in Bahrain Grand Prix". iht.com. 2008-04-06. http://www.iht.com/articles/2008/04/06/sports/prix.3-251752.php. Retrieved on 6 April 2008.
- Japanese Grand Prix BBC Sport Retrieved 11 October 2008
- "Massa ties the knot". f1technical.com. 2007-12-02. http://www.f1technical.net/news/7727. Retrieved on 2 December 2007.
- professionalwatches.com: RICHARD MILLE RM011 Felipe Massa Special Edition 
- "Piloto de F-1 também gosta de futebol". globoesporte.globo.com. 2007-10-21. http://globoesporte.globo.com/ESP/Noticia/Motor/0,,MUL153780-1311,00.html. Retrieved on 20 November 2007.
- "I'm a fan of Fenerbahçe". sabah.com.tr. 2007-08-24. http://english.sabah.com.tr/CD531EE3821D4060A42BB538CC3D0120.html.
- "Desafio International das Estrelas: Apresentação" (in Portuguese). Desafio International das Estrelas official website. 2008. http://www.desafiodasestrelas.com.br/desafio2008Apresentacao.aspx. Retrieved on 26 August 2008.
- "Desafio International das Estrelas: Resultado final" (in Portuguese). Desafio International das Estrelas official website. 2008. http://www.desafiodasestrelas.com.br/provasResultados2007Final.aspx. Retrieved on 26 August 2008.
|Eurocup Formula Renault champion
|Italian Formula Renault champion
|Euro Formula 3000 champion
|Awards and achievements|
|Lorenzo Bandini Trophy