Felipe Massa’s Ferrari career in over 100 pictures

2013 F1 season review

Felipe Massa has left Ferrari having been one of the most loyal drivers a team has ever known.

Only Michael Schumacher started more races for the great Italian team, and just one other driver – David Coulthard – made more grand prix starts for a single constructor.

Massa’s 139 races with Ferrari yielded 15 pole positions and 11 victories. And it very nearly brought him a world championship in 2008, when Lewis Hamilton snatched it from him after Massa won an electrifying showdown at his home track in Interlagos.

That race remains Massa’s last triumph to date. Since his 2009 crash he has struggled to recapture the highs of his first three seasons with Ferrari.

Here’s a look back on Massa’s eight years racing for Ferrari in pictures.

2006

Felipe Massa, Ferrari, Interlagos, 2006

Massa had spent three seasons with Sauber when he was promoted to Ferrari’s race team as a replacement for Rubens Barrichello.

Sharing a team with Michael Schumacher, Massa struggled initially but a strong second half of the year saw him take a breakthrough victory at Istanbul and a popular home win at the final round.

2007

Rob Smedley, Felipe Massa, Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Barcelona, 2007

Another home win should have followed in 2007. But by that stage Massa had fallen out of contention for the world championship and new team mate Kimi Raikkonen needed a victory in Brazil to clinch the crown. Massa obliged, making way for his team mate.

Massa won two of the opening four rounds and scored another win in Turkey, helping Ferrari reclaim the constructors’ championship.

2008

Felipe Massa, Ferrari, Interlagos, 2008

In what Massa’s most impressive season to date he remained in the hunt for the world championship until the chequered flag fell on the finale in Sao Paulo. He won at home again but Hamilton’s last-lap pass on Timo Glock meant it wasn’t enough for Massa to take the title.

Nonetheless six wins for Massa underlined his credentials as one of the sport’s top drivers. He was hard done by in Hungary as well, losing a likely victory in the closing stages due to an engine failure.

2009

Felipe Massa, Ferrari, Hungaroring, 2009

The 2009 Hungarian Grand Prix marked a turning point in Massa’s career. He suffered life-threatening injuries to his head when a spring fell off Barrichello’s car and struck his helmet during qualifying.

It ruled Massa out of competition for the rest of the season but he was fortunate to escape with his life. He returned to the paddock before the end of the year, waving the chequered flag at his home race, and shortly afterwards began testing for his 2010 return.

2010

Fernando Alonso, Felipe Massa, Ferrari, Hockenheim, 2010

From 2010 the arrival of twice-champion Fernando Alonso made Ferrari a more challenging environment for Massa. And though he has always said his 2009 injuries have not affected his driving, he rarely got on terms with Alonso the way he did with Raikkonen.

Massa was denied a chance to win on the first anniversary of his accident at the Hockenheimring when Ferrari told him to let Alonso past with the infamous words “Fernando is faster than you”. He hasn’t come close to winning again since.

2011

Felipe Massa, Ferrari, Singapore, 2011

Ferrari were seldom in the hunt for wins with their 2011 challenger – Alonso took a single victory at Silverstone. But he was able to finish on the podium ten times, something Massa never managed once, though a succession of collisions with Hamilton didn’t help matters.

2012

Fernando Alonso, Felipe Massa, Ferrari, Valencia, 2012

The story remained much the same for most of 2012 as Massa struggled more than Alonso with an even less competitive Ferrari. Finally in Japan he ended his podium drought – the longest ever suffered by a Ferrari driver – and he was given another one-year extension on his contract.

2013

Felipe Massa, Ferrari, Interlagos, 2013

Although his 2013 campaign was marginally better than 2012, it wasn’t enough to persuade Ferrari to retain him for another season. Following the Italian Grand Prix he confirmed he was leaving the team, with Raikkonen making a surprising return in his place.

He signed off in emotional style at his home grand prix, but the race itself was a disappointment as a mid-race drive-through penalty ended his chance of finishing on the podium.

Over to your

Share your memories of Massa’s eight seasons driving for Ferrari in the comments.

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Images ?Ú?« Ferrari/Ercole Colombo, Jamey Price, F1 Fanatic

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25 comments on Felipe Massa’s Ferrari career in over 100 pictures

  1. Carlitox (@carlitox) said on 6th December 2013, 13:14

    Thank you Keith for this memories, so recent, yet so far away in the past. I’ve had a soft spot for Felipe ever since he was at Sauber, so when he joined Ferrari, it made me overcome the fact that they got rid of one of my all time favorites (Barrichello).
    Though it’s evident that the accident and a teammate so overwhelming as Alonso were hard hits to his driving, I’ve always been somewhat angry at those people who deemed him as “useless”. The very same people that one could see now posting “Grazie Felipe”. His skills were obviously not the same, but he was always there for the team. And lots of people forgot that if he hasn’t won a championship, it was undoubtedly because of hard luck.
    So, again, thank you Keith and thank you Felipe. I will always be a tifoso but I’ll also cheer for you at Williams!

  2. OEL F1 (@oel-f1) said on 6th December 2013, 13:53

    Thank you Felipe!

  3. OmarR-Pepper (@omarr-pepper) said on 6th December 2013, 14:54

    the links to many pics are broken!

  4. W (@yesyesyesandyesagain) said on 6th December 2013, 15:55

    This picture perfectly sums up Ferrari since 2010. I think it is better for both Felipe and Fernando that they part ways.

  5. vinicius.jlantunes (@vinicius-jlantunes) said on 6th December 2013, 16:22

    His victories in Interlagos in 2006 and 2008 are my fondest memories of the sport. Seeing the pictures brought all the feelings back.
    I was a huge supporter or Massa until the unfamous moment in 2010 in Hockenheimring where he let Alonso past. I don’t want to debate team orders, but that changed my opinion of him – I wanted him to defy that order. However, deep inside I still like him very much and will be very glad if his Williams days turn out to be successfull.

  6. TheBass (@) said on 6th December 2013, 18:05

    I have the utmost respect for Massa. It’s a damn shame that he lost so much after the 2009 accident. At his prime, even if sometimes a bit flawed, he was able to outmatch the likes of Raikkonen and Hamilton.

    It’s amazing the amount of bad luck he’s had, from losing the championship due to a series of unfortunate situations (like the motor break in Canada after a superb race, hell, even crashgate played gainst him) to the accident itself. His form since 2010 has simply not being the same.

    He can retire from Ferrari proud, though.

    • Completely agree.

      I may not be his biggest fan, and he might have not reached his potential as an athlete, but from a professional standpoint, the card’s that were dealt to Felipe would have made anyone else a bitter, petty man. Thankfully, he is neither.

    • mitchibob said on 7th December 2013, 1:27

      Great comment. I’ve always been a huge fan of Felipe. In his Sauber and early Ferrari days he was fast, but perhaps a little reckless, and fantastic to watch. Showed his class in the second half of the year racing for Ferrari. He will always be the 2008 champion for me, whatever the record states. For one thing, he won the most races that year. Plus, he is the ultimate ‘team player’, although it’s a shame that he has not been the beneficiary of that in the last few years.

    • I have absolutely no respect for Felipe Massa but that’s because I don’t fall on the media lullaby. I was often baffled with the lack of transparency, honesty and sense that Massa often showed when he spoke to several different media outputs but on track he was sometimes brilliant and always well behaved. I think he dealt very well with the unfortunate accident and was very good for Ferrari in the old regulations especially in 07 and 08, in 09 Massa did great but from the 2011 season onwards he was never quick enough to do anything for Ferrari and that’s because of the regs and the tyres and perhaps for whom the car was built to that said I think it’s long overdue, hoping to see someone beat Alonso more often than not because I truly don’t believe that Alonso is that special but Raikkonen perhaps is not the guy to beat him, but as Massa was in his career with Ferrari Raikkonen was also a good team player so Vettel and Hamilton are not available yet and the other prospects are unfortunately unknown quantities so hopefully 2014 is an improvement for both Ferrari and Massa even though I think Bottas will give him the Alonso treatment.

  7. Kingshark (@kingshark) said on 6th December 2013, 23:52

    Probably one of the most underrated and unluckiest Ferrari drivers ever. It’s a shame that to this day, most people rate him based on his final four years with Alonso rather than his earlier career before his accident.

  8. Mouse_Nightshirt (@mouse_nightshirt) said on 7th December 2013, 19:37

    After his massive traumatic head injury, I sadly had little doubt that he would ever return back to his original form. Physically, I’m not sure it’s something he could get completely over, but I also felt that mentally he never got over that roadblock again.

    That said, I was always fond of Felipe on the track. A true racer. Sadly, in my eyes, he was a bit petty and political off the track when the heat was on (like so many other drivers). I prefer him as a person now but as a racer back then.

    And one photo that should have made the list was the one with him parked at the end of the Singapore pit lane in 2008 with a fuel hose attached to the car, as that was one of the pivotal moments that decided that championship. (Was on Sky F1 today!)

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