Rio de Janeiro, 9 March –Before setting off for Melbourne and the first GP of the season, Felipe Massa flew to Rio de Janeiro to take part in the Race TNT Street, a free to watch motoring event organised by the Petropolis Group in Aterro do Flamengo, one of the most beautiful parts of the Brazilian city.
Massa took part in a press conference along with Douglas Costa, the Head of Marketing for TNT, the energy drink that is a Supplier to Scuderia Ferrari and, from this year, a sponsor of the team and it’s drivers. Felipe dealt with a whole host of questions from the assembled journalists.
“It’s a dream come true for me to drive a Ferrari Formula 1 car through the streets of the marvelous city of Rio de Janeiro,” commented the Brazilian. “There can be no greater thrill than drive the car with which I raced around the world, in my home country, on the streets in front of the fans who are always supporting me. And there can be no better place to host an event like this than Rio.” As to the coming Championship, Felipe said, “I think the potential is there to fight at the front, even if at the moment, we don’t know where we are compared to the other teams. Apart from those who have been competitive so far, like McLaren, Red Bull and Lotus, there is also Mercedes, who were very strong in winter testing.
“But the moment of truth will come next week in Australia, in qualifying. Today, what matters to me is knowing that I have done a good job and that I have got a good feeling from the car, which is well designed and also easier to drive than last year’s car.” Asked about his future, Massa expressed the desire to stay at Ferrari. “I don’t know what will happen, but definitely the aim is to stay with the most famous Formula 1 team, which has been like a second family to me for so many years. It will depend a lot on the results, therefore I’m not thinking too much about the future, but I am trying to concentrate only on the world championship which is about to start.” Felipe professed not to be concerned about what people said about him. “That’s all part of the world of Formula 1 and I think I have shown to those who had not bet on me, that I know how to deal with the difficult moments. After a very complicated first half to last season, I did not let myself be affected by everything I heard and I got back to being as competitive as ever and this year, I want to start with the same frame of mind.”
After the conference, Massa was a guest at a cocktail reception organised in his honour at the Rio de Janeiro Ferrari Store, the first in Brazil, opened by Via Italia, the official Prancing Horse importer, located within the prestigious Sao Conrado Fashion Mall.