Montezemolo: Felipe has been a true Ferrari man and will always be part of our history

Luca di Montezemolo with Felipe Massa during the farewell event

Luca di Montezemolo with Felipe Massa during the farewell event

Although he still has two races to run as a Ferrari F1 driver, Felipe Massa was given an emotional farewell party during the marque’s Finali Mondiali at Mugello where the company’s president Luca di Montezemolo waxed lyrical about the Brazilian’s contribution to the Scuderia.

Di Montezemolo said of the driver who was nurtured by the Maranello outfit since his teens, “Felipe has been a true Ferrari man and he will always be part of our history, for all the grands prix he drove for us, for the wins, the pole positions and for those few seconds when he was world champion that day in Brazil, before that overtaking move that always seemed a bit strange to me.”

“We spent some great times together, while some others were more difficult, such as the accident in Budapest. These have been very busy years and today, I wanted to thank him publicly, having already done so privately, just the two of us.”

Felipe Massa celebrates his first F1 victory at the 2006 Turkish GP

Felipe Massa celebrates his first F1 victory at the 2006 Turkish GP

“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. I wish Felipe every success, starting with the last two races of this Championship.”

“As for the rest of his Formula 1 career, I wish him the very best, but naturally, behind a Ferrari and anyway, I am sure we will get many chances to meet up again, because life is long and he will always be part of our family.”

“When one has a mutually agreed separation, in the best interests of both parties, it can be done calmly in a friendly and constructive manner, and that has been the case this time,” concluded Montezemolo.

Managing Director of the Fiat-Chrysler Group, Sergio Marchionne was also on hand to pay tribute to Felipe Massa, as was Piero Ferrari and Marc Gene.

Massa made his Formula 1 debut as a Sauber driver in 2002 with Ferrari backing, before joining the reds – as teammate to Michael Schumacher – in 2006. He won his first grand prix in Turkey that year, and since then added a further ten winners’ trophies to his collection of silverware. (GP247)

Subbed by AJN.

 

  • K-15-

    A real driver. Possibly the best in the field. If he were in a Red Bull, vettel would have real competition.

  • torque

    Hope it’s not the last time we see him driving in F1.

  • Butterfly

    That F2008 is the best Ferrari Felipe’s driven in the last five years.

  • iceman 2.0

    A true Ferrari man who always ate the humble pie that Ferrari served and kept on smiling idiotically all through these 8 wonderful years. What possibly could Luca and company ask for more from their favourite number 2.

  • GoldLeaf

    I have great respect and affection for Felipe Massa, and I am also willing to give Ferrari full credit where credit is due for handling the end of their relationship with more class than I have ever seen from any other F1 team in a similar situation. We may criticize Ferrari or Massa for the whole number two driver strategy, but they have never been less open about it than they were allowed to be, and Felipe was a willing participant. I am not a fan of the “team orders” or “number two driver” approach, but Felipe has had a long, stable and prosperous F1 career. He also has a lot more podiums and wins than a lot of other drivers, and has managed to garner almost universal respect and affection from the fans and everyone else involved in the sport. Felipe made his choices and has achieved much as an F1 driver. Ferrari could have shown much less grace when they finally an inevitably let him go. I’m in favor of giving them both kudos and letting it go at that.

  • F1 Neutral

    @ GoldLeaf

    Yeah, I feel the same way.
    Being a number 2 at Ferrari has enabled Massa, Rubens and Irvine to win numerous GP’s that they would never have won in another car. I’d rather be number 2 at Ferrari than number 1 at Jaguar or Stewart for example.
    From the early days of being very crash-prone in a Sauber, and managing to spin several times on a wet Silverstone straight, Massa surprised a lot of people to become a steady driver.
    Unfortunate what happened in 2009 but the regulation changes of that year had already ruined it for teams like Ferrari and McLaren. His only clear cut year to take the title was 2008, as was Webber’s in 2010, but it wasn’t meant to be.

  • jeff

    @Goldleaf spot on both a class act Best of the best to Feline as he joins another class act.

  • sebolonso

    Les boys do cabaret.

  • Ukwhite

    It may be something Brazilian being so called Ferrari man. You cannot feel but sorry for poor Felipe.

    He was the worthy champion in 2008, had more victories than Lewis, luck wasn’t on his side, but he also let others to step on him.

    Wish him all the best, at least Wiiliams will help rediscover the inner lost man.