Ferrari recently announced that Felipe Massa will race for the team in 2006 and the Brazilian will be behind the wheel of a scarlet car at Monza next week. Massa is no stranger to Ferrari as he was test driver for the team for the 2003 season and...
Ferrari recently announced that Felipe Massa will race for the team in 2006 and the Brazilian will be behind the wheel of a scarlet car at Monza next week. Massa is no stranger to Ferrari as he was test driver for the team for the 2003 season and has also tested sporadically while competing for Sauber the last two years.
"Last time I drove for Ferrari was last year, in the middle of the year, I did one day testing in Mugello, and the next time I am going to drive will be next week," Massa said at Thursday's FIA press conference ahead of the Turkish Grand Prix. He will drive the Ferrari on Tuesday and Wednesday and will be back on duty with Sauber on Friday.
There has been much speculation that Massa, who will replace Rubens Barrichello, will be another Brazilian No.2 to Michael Schumacher at Ferrari but Felipe said it is not in his contract to be the second driver -- to which Barrichello quipped that it wasn't in his contract either. That particular debate aside, Massa is full of enthusiasm for his move to a Maranello race seat.
"When you have a competitive car, and when you have the opportunity to go to Ferrari it is fantastic for a young guy, so I feel ready," he commented. "I have some good experience in Formula One already and now is the time to take the opportunity to show what I can do. Going to Ferrari is always an incredible opportunity."
So what does Massa expect next season with Ferrari? "I think it is a bit early to say. There are many things going to change for next year, engine will be a big change for every team, so I think most of the teams are already working on next year's engine and honestly, I don't have some information already about the engine, I just saw Ferrari tried it a few days ago, and I think it is too early to say about how it is going to be next year, I think it will be new for everyone."
As for seven-time champion Schumacher, Massa brushed off the suggestion that having Michael as a teammate may not be a good career move. "I'm young, I am ready for the challenge, so I'm ready to try everything I can to have a competitive car," he stated. "Fernando (Alonso) had his chance to go to a good team and show what he could do, Kimi (Raikkonen) as well, so I want to do the same."