Massa surprised by Jordan decision

Felipe Massa has admitted he was surprised by Eddie Jordan's decision to pick another driver for the race seat after long talks between the two. Massa had been favourite to line up alongside Giancarlo Fisichella at Jordan for 2003 but the team finally decided on Ralph Firman this week.

Ferrari new test driver Felipe Massa.
Photo by Ferrari Media Center.
"I was in long talks with Eddie Jordan," Massa explained, "but everything suddenly went in the wrong direction and he preferred another driver. It was a surprise for me."

The Brazilian has now been signed by Ferrari as test driver but although the team have long been thought to have an interest in Massa, he said it was only in the last few days that talks with the Scuderia began: "Negotiations only began this week," he stated.

Massa raced with Sauber in 2002 -- some say at the instigation of Ferrari, who supply Sauber with engines -- but was replaced by Heinz-Harald Frentzen for this season. Some believe the young Brazilian is being groomed by Ferrari to take over from compatriot Rubens Barrichello in the future.

For the moment, Massa may have lost the chance to be on track competitively in 2003 but he's happy with the Ferrari role: "For now, everything for me is here. I am now a test driver for Ferrari. I only want to develop my work and to see what happens. I am with the best team in F1, with the best car and the best drivers, and I am happy to be here. It will be an incredible school for me and I will be able to learn a lot."