Austin, 14 November – Felipe Massa appeared to be in a gastronomic mood as you will discover further on, when he met the media on this the first day at the Circuit of the Americas on the outskirts of Austin. With the official announcement that the Brazilian driver will be joining the Williams team as from next year, Felipe spoke about his feelings at leaving the Scuderia that has been his home for so long. “I am very honoured to have spent such a long time with Ferrari,” began the Paulista. “I’ve had incredible moments, very happy moments on a sporting and human level and of course I have had many victories with Ferrari. I am one of the drivers who has driven the most races for Ferrari, in fact second behind Michael (Schumacher.) And because I actually had a contract linking me to Ferrari since 2001, actually in terms of time, I have been with the team even longer than Michael was. I am pleased that our time together is coming to an end in a happy way for both me and for Ferrari. It will always be part of my history and I will always feel close to this team. We had a very nice party in Mugello last weekend in front of lots of fans for the Ferrari Finali Mondiali and even with all the rain, all these people came to say goodbye, as I drove a Ferrari for the last time in Italy. It was a very emotional day and I was even crying a bit, seeing all the people there. I had not expected to find 15,000 people there for me.
“Maybe the pasta!” joked Felipe when asked what he would miss most about the Maranello squad. “I will miss being part of the family, sleeping at the house at the Fiorano track when I went to the factory, I just felt I was at home. I will miss the human element with all the friends I have made there. I need to say thank you first and foremost to Stefano, as head of the team and as someone I am very close to and also to Montezemolo, the President, who did all he could to help me and also Jean Todt, who was the first person who gave me the opportunity to come to Ferrari, plus all the mechanics, engineers, the best logistics people in F1 for sure and everyone else in the whole factory. I will come back to eat some pasta!”
Back to the present and the Ferrari man spoke about the team’s pursuit of second place in the Constructors’ classification. “We need to be optimistic and try everything we can to achieve our goal, but it won’t be easy because Mercedes has a quicker car and so does Lotus,” admitted Felipe. “We need to have two good races to get ahead of Mercedes.” Regarding the future, he explained his decision to go to Williams. “I am very enthusiastic and happy about signing the contract with Williams for next year,” he said. “I am looking forward to what will be a new challenge in my career and I feel very motivated. I feel I have a lot to give to the team to help it get out of this difficult moment it is going through this season. Williams is part of the history of Formula 1. I have seen many changes of personnel within the team which is a good sign and of course everything can change with the new rules. My racing life has been spent mainly with Italian teams even before F1, so now I will have to adapt to an English team. Maybe I need to try some fish and chips!”