Massa given his Ferrari send-off
Ferrari gave Felipe Massa a celebratory send-off at Mugello on Sunday, presenting him with a 1.2 metre trophy and paying tribute to his career at Maranello.
Massa, who will be replaced by Kimi Raikkonen next year at Ferrari, turned up to a dinner in Florence on Saturday night in a Formula One car and then arrived in Mugello the following day to celebrate in front of 15,000 fans. A number of his cars were on display and Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo led the tributes to the Brazilian driver.
"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," Montezemolo said. "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.
"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 One 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."
Massa reflected on his 2008 season when he missed out on the title by a single point to Lewis Hamilton, who secured victory with an overtaking manoeuvre coming out of the final corner on the final lap of the final race.
"These are memories that will stay with me always, just like so many other beautiful moments spent together, starting with the wins," Massa said. "For example, I think back to the wins at Interlagos, because for a Brazilian, to win your home race is something amazing. Sure, the dream just slipped out of my grasp, namely winning the world title in front of my home crowd, but that wasn't the race where I lost the 2008 title: when you finish second by a point the key moment could have come at so many different places and I'm thinking of Singapore for example, or Budapest, or others still…"