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Felipe_Massa

Felipe Massa

Felipe Massa (born in São Paulo April 25, 1981) is a Brazilian Formula One racing driver, currently employed by the Ferrari team and standing second in the 2008 Drivers World Championship. He is under contract to race for Ferrari until the end of the season.

Early career

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 it 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.

Ferrari (2006-Present)

2006

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.

2007

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.

2008

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 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 spun out on lap 31 in second place while chasing Räikkönen. Massa went into Bahrain (where he won in 2007) with no points. He scored not only his first points of 2008 in Bahrain, he also topped the podium with his first win of the season. Doing this, he scored his first victory without starting from pole, even if, effectively, he took the lead before the first corner, after Robert Kubica's poor start. It was another 1-2 for Ferrari in Spain, but this time with Räikkönen winning and Massa second. Massa's win at Istanbul Park on May 11, 2008, was his third successive victory 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 Lewis Hamilton and Räikkönen in the rain, before that advantage was wiped out by the safety car. Ferrari's decision to fuel Massa for a 1-stop strategy, having anticipated more rain, arguably cost Massa victory as the track dried up later and he eventually finished third. However, Räikkönen's ninth-placed finish saw Massa make gains in the championship race, moving to 34 points, one behind Räikkönen and four behind Hamilton, who won in Monaco.

The Canadian Grand Prix saw arguably Massa's chief title contenders (Räikkönen and Hamilton) withdraw, due to a costly accident caused by Hamilton in the pit lane. The weekend started rather poorly though, with Massa having his season worst qualifying in 6th place. However although the Ferrari was on pace throughout the race, a delay with the fuel rig during a pit stop meant that Massa had to pit an extra time than he otherwise would have done, meaning he finished 5th, now equal on points with Hamilton and 3 ahead of Räikkönen, yet surprisingly 4 behind race winner Robert Kubica.

In the French Grand Prix, Massa qualified 2nd on the grid behind his teammate Räikkönen. However, Massa overtook his teammate, who was having problems with his car exhaust, to win the race and take the lead in the championship, 2 points ahead of Robert Kubica, 5 points ahead of Räikkönen and 10 points ahead of Hamilton, who scored no points in the race. Massa was the first Brazilian to lead the championship since Ayrton Senna in the 1993 Formula One season. In the British Grand Prix, things made a turn for the worse as he spun on numerous occasions and finished 13th, dead last. This result was his lowest finish since 2005 when he finished 14th on two occasions for Sauber.

Massa had a harrowing defeat at the 2008 Hungarian Grand Prix where he started third. He overtook 2nd place starter Heikki Kovalainen and pole sitter Lewis Hamilton on the main straight of the starting grid. He had an enormous lock-up of both his front tires but nevertheless overtook both McLarens with ease. He led for the majority of the race 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.

Massa won the 2008 European Grand Prix at Valencia, Spain. He started in pole position and took the chequered flag comfortably. However, 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. After the race, the stewards decided to fine Massa €10,000, but his victory stood. He won his 10th Grand Prix in the 2008 Belgian Grand Prix, after Lewis Hamilton who crossed the line infront of Massa, was hit with a 25 second penalty by the stewards after the race, for cutting the Bus Stop Chicane during his tussle with Räikkönen on Lap 42 of the race.

Massa took pole position for the Singapore Grand Prix, beating Hamilton's best time by six tenths of a second during the last moments of the qualifying session. During the race, Massa, after being given the green light by his team, left his first fuel stop with the refuelling rig still attached to his car. This resulted in a lengthy delay caused by the difficulty of removing the hose. He was later then given a drive-through penalty for an unsafe release into the pitlane. His race ruined, he finished out of the points.

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.

Racing record

Career summary

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
2002 Formula One Sauber 16 0 0 4 13th
2003 Formula One Ferrari Test driver
2004 Formula One Sauber 18 0 0 12 12th
2005 Formula One Sauber 19 0 0 11 13th
2006 Formula One Ferrari 18 3 2 80 3rd
2007 Formula One Ferrari 17 6 3 94 4th
2008 Formula One Ferrari 15 5 5 77* 2nd*
* Season in progress

Complete Formula One results

(F1 driver results legend 2) (Races in bold indicate pole position) (Races in italics indicate fastest lap)
Year Entrant Chassis Engine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 WDC Points
2002 Sauber Petronas Sauber C21 Petronas 02A 3.0 V10 AUS
Ret
MAL
6
BRA
Ret
SMR
8
ESP
5
AUT
Ret
MON
Ret
CAN
9
EUR
6
GBR
9
FRA
Ret
GER
7
HUN
7
BEL
Ret
ITA
Ret
USA
JPN
Ret
13th 4
2004 Sauber Petronas Sauber C23 Petronas 04A 3.0 V10 AUS
Ret
MAL
8
BHR
12
SMR
10
ESP
9
MON
5
EUR
9
CAN
Ret
USA
Ret
FRA
13
GBR
9
GER
13
HUN
Ret
BEL
4
ITA
12
CHN
8
JPN
9
BRA
8
12th 12
2005 Sauber Petronas Sauber C24 Petronas 05A 3.0 V10 AUS
10
MAL
10
BHR
7
SMR
10
ESP
11
MON
9
EUR
14
CAN
4
USA
DNS
FRA
Ret
GBR
10
GER
8
HUN
14
TUR
Ret
ITA
9
BEL
10
BRA
11
JPN
10
CHN
6
13th 11
2006 Scuderia Ferrari
Marlboro
Ferrari 248 F1 Ferrari 056 2.4 V8 BHR
9
MAL
5
AUS
Ret
SMR
4
EUR
3
ESP
4
MON
9
GBR
5
CAN
6
USA
2
FRA
3
GER
2
HUN
7
TUR
1
ITA
9
CHN
Ret
JPN
2
BRA
1
3rd 80
2007 Scuderia Ferrari
Marlboro
Ferrari F2007 Ferrari 056 2.4 V8 AUS
6
MAL
5
BHR
1
ESP
1
MON
3
CAN
DSQ
USA
3
FRA
2
GBR
5
EUR
2
HUN
13
TUR
1
ITA
Ret
BEL
2
JPN
6
CHN
3
BRA
2
4th 94
2008 Scuderia Ferrari
Marlboro
Ferrari F2008 Ferrari 056 2.4 V8 AUS
Ret
MAL
Ret
BHR
1
ESP
2
TUR
1
MON
3
CAN
5
FRA
1
GBR
13
GER
3
HUN
17
EUR
1
BEL
1
ITA
6
SIN
13
JPN CHN BRA 2nd* 77
* Season in progress

Personal life

See also

References

External links

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