Felipe Massa says 'Fernando is faster than you' 2010 German GP toughest Ferrari time
But ousted driver says he has "zero frustration in my life"
By James Galloway. Last Updated: 21/11/13 2:59pm
Departing Ferrari driver Felipe Massa has named the 2010 German GP, when he was ordered to cede the race win to team-mate Fernando Alonso, as the toughest moment of his eight years at Maranello.
This weekend's season-ending Brazilian GP marks Massa's 139th and final grand prix for Ferrari after his long-time employers decided not to renew his contract in favour of re-hiring Kimi Raikkonen for 2014.
Massa's swansong weekend in red, which coincides with his home grand prix, began in Thursday's Drivers' Press Conference at Interlagos and the local driver was asked to pinpoint both his favourite moment - which he listed as his maiden Brazilian victory in 2006 - and also his most challenging since earning a race seat at the team.
While the questioner suggested that the 32-year-old's title near-miss at the same circuit in 2008, or the accident at the following year's Hungarian GP when an errant spring pierced through his crash helmet causing serious head injuries, were the two toughest moments to choose from, Massa, with a smile, offered one of his own: "Definitely the accident was not a great moment, but maybe the race in Hockenheim 2010."
The incident in question was arguably the first time that the intra-team pre-eminence of Alonso, who had arrived at Ferrari in place of Raikkonen at the start of that season, became crystallised to the outside world as the Scuderia's pitwall opted to switch the order of their race-leading cars into the closing stages of the grand prix.
Although only the 11th round of the campaign, Ferrari felt Alonso's fading title challenge needed to take priority and, via Rob Smedley's famous coded "Fernando is faster than you" radio message, Massa slowed from the lead to let the sister car through to claim the win, denying him what would have been a victory exactly a year on from his Budapest crash.
But while a low-point of his Ferrari career, Massa made clear he holds no grudges or bad feelings towards the team ahead of his winter departure for Williams.
"I will just try to do the best in my career and I really hope Ferrari can have a good future as well. I have nothing really to complain [about], to say," he said.
"We have a very good time together and I hope I can have a fantastic future in a different team and I hope the same for Ferrari. I have zero frustration in my life and that's the way it is."
With his relationship with Ferrari actually dating back to 2001 when he was a 20-year-old Euro Formula 3000 champion, Massa is hoping he can enjoy one final high with his colleagues on Sunday.
"I've had an incredible time with Ferrari. It's a very long time, it's the eighth championship [season] but I'm inside Ferrari even before Formula 1," Massa said.
"So it's a long time and I just need to say thank you to all of them, everybody who I worked together with Ferrari.
"Stefano [Domenicali] is a big friend and did a lot for me as well. I hope we can enjoy the last race here in Ferrari, having a lot of fun and having a good result as well to be even more emotional at the end."
Who's where in 2014?
Red Bull: Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo.
Ferrari: Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen.
Mercedes: Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg.
Lotus: To be confirmed.
McLaren: Jenson Button and Kevin Magnussen.
Sauber: To be confirmed.
Force India: To be confirmed.
Williams: Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas.
Toro Rosso: Jean-Eric Vergne and Daniil Kvyat.
Marussia: Jules Bianchi with second driver not yet confirmed.
Caterham: To be confirmed.