Barrichello: Massa has to close his eyes and enjoy

Rubens Barrichello (BRA) Williams, Felipe Massa (BRA) Ferrari and Bruno Senna (BRA) Lotus Renault GP.  Formula One World Championship, Rd 19, Brazilian Grand Prix, Race, Interlagos, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Sunday 27 November 2011.   BEST IMAGE
Rubens Barrichello, Felipe Massa and Bruno Senna pictured last year during the Brazilian GP weekend

Apr.4 (GMM) Veteran F1 driver Rubens Barrichello has advised his friend and countryman Felipe Massa to remember to enjoy his job, amid rumours that the younger Brazilian is speeding towards the exit at Ferrari.

Rubens Barrichello (BRA) KV Racing. Rubens Barrichello IndyCar Test, Sebring, Florida, USA, Tuesday 31 January 2012.
Rubens is now driving in Indycars with KV Racing

Speculation is rife that amid his apparently worsening performance slump, Massa will be replaced at the famous Italian team – perhaps as soon as within the 2012 season.

Former Ferrari driver Barrichello, who has switched to Indycar this year after losing his Williams seat, told Brazil’s Globo Esporte that he thinks Massa’s problem is psychological.

“It’s not a speed problem,” he said, “it’s something that he needs to solve within himself.

“He has to close his eyes and enjoy, remembering that he does this because he likes it.

“Every time that I lost a little bit, it was because I had forgotten that I did it because I liked to. So we [drivers] have to relax and improve that way.

“[For Massa] it is just a moment, and every moment and race in F1 is [part of the] cycle of life.”

Barrichello’s advice for Massa may be particularly relevant, as he was at Ferrari during Michael Schumacher’s ultra-successful reign last decade.

Felipe Massa beached his Ferrari
Felipe Massa is not having a good season so far

Now, it is Fernando Alonso who is the Maranello team’s favoured son.

“Of course Ferrari loves Alonso, because he is one of the best, if not the best who is there (in F1) now,” said Barrichello, 39.

“So, it’s tough for Felipe.”

Barrichello also laughed at the results of a recent fans’ poll in the Italian media that showed he would be a highly popular choice as Massa’s replacement.

“It was very unexpected,” he said. “Maybe it was a way [for journalists] to see if Italians would pick an Italian driver, and suddenly I win.

“It is a very public business and shows that I must have left something behind,” added the winner of 11 grands prix.

Subbed by AJN.