Sauber confirms Massa signing

Sauber confirms Massa signing

The long-awaited announcement from Sauber came today (October 28th) when the team confirmed its signing of Ferrari test driver Felipe Massa for the 2004 season. Massa debuted in Formula One with Sauber in 2002 but the team opted for Heinz-Harald...

The long-awaited announcement from Sauber came today (October 28th) when the team confirmed its signing of Ferrari test driver Felipe Massa for the 2004 season. Massa debuted in Formula One with Sauber in 2002 but the team opted for Heinz-Harald Frentzen this season. Massa has spent 2003 developing his skills as test driver for Ferrari and will now return to Sauber as race driver alongside Giancarlo Fisichella for next year.

Felipe Massa.
Photo by Elmar Vat.
"Back in 2002, Felipe already proved his exceptional speed," said team principal Peter Sauber. "At the end of that season, I had recommended to him that, rather than going on to race for any other team, he should sign on with Ferrari as a test driver in order to become even more familiar with the technical aspects of Formula One."

"Getting first-hand experience of how Ferrari and Michael Schumacher operate is perfect training for a young racing driver. I'm convinced that Felipe is now able to make optimum use of his potential."

Masa is ready to return to competition and is happy to be back with Sauber. "My year as a Ferrari test driver has been of great value to me, and I've learnt a lot," he said. "Naturally, though, my goal has been to drive races again. I'm overjoyed to return to Sauber Petronas. I had a great time with them before, and there's no doubt in my mind that the team has all the prerequisites for being successful."

Massa signed his two-year contract today while in Hinwil, Switzerland, for a seat-fitting at Sauber's base. Peter Sauber expects the combination of Fisichella and Massa to bring in results next year. "For years, I've deemed Giancarlo one of the best racers in Formula One," he said. "And after his year with Ferrari, I also expect a great deal of Felipe."

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Giancarlo Fisichella , Michael Schumacher , Heinz-Harald Frentzen , Felipe Massa , Peter Sauber
Teams Ferrari , Sauber