Rio de Janeiro, 10 March – Felipe Massa has just enjoyed a memorable Sunday in Rio de Janeiro as he took to a specially-constructed track along the streets of Aterro do Flamengo, an area to the north of the city, to kick off a unique motoring show. Having arrived in the Brazilian city yesterday to take part in the pre-event press conference, today the Brazilian driver opened the special event organised by TNT – the energy drink manufacturer that is Ferrari’s Official Sponsor. At the wheel of a Ferrari California, he led off a parade of 27 cars built by the Prancing Horse. He then put in a series of demonstration laps at the wheel of the F10, the car with which the Maranello team raced in the 2010 Formula 1 World Championship.
At the end of the event, before he left on the voyage that will take him to Australia for the first race of 2013, Massa said: “It was really emotional to drive along the streets of Rio at such a special event in front of people who usually only get to see me at the end of the season at the Brazilian Grand Prix in Sao Paulo. The emotion I felt and all the support I could sense around me will be an extra motivation to begin the season well! At the end of the straight there was a very fast bend that allowed me to go flat out and get close to 300kmh. But halfway along that straight I could see the flash of the radar cameras: if we consider the fact that I was going about 12 times too fast, I fear I might be getting a rather hefty fine…”