Felipe Massa

#19 | Felipe Massa | Williams F1 Team

Date of Birth: 25/04/1981 | Nationality: Brazilian | Twitter: @Felipe1Massa


Massa made his debut for Sauber in 2002 and while he claimed a handful of points, he was regarded as erratic and subsequently spent 2003 as Ferrari's test driver.

He returned to Sauber for 2004 and 2005 and was much improved as he twice finished fourth and established himself as a competent midfield runner.

In 2006, he stepped up to Ferrari in a race seat and while he began in erratic fashion, he quickly matured under the guidance of new race engineer Rob Smedley. The two struck up a dynamic relationship across Massa's career with Ferrari and the Brazilian won his first race from pole position in Turkey. He added another two pole positions, including at home in Brazil, and went on to win at Interlagos, a feat he rated as his finest drive in the sport.

Massa remained with Ferrari in 2007 and spent much of the year in championship contention but while he claimed three wins, he was forced to play second fiddle to Kimi Raikkonen.

Massa's 2008 season began badly but he answered his critics by storming to victories in Bahrain and Turkey, before claiming pole position in Monaco. A further win in France propelled him into championship contention but he received criticism after spinning five times during a wet British Grand Prix. He was robbed of a fine victory in Hungary when his engine failed with three laps remaining, having driven around the outside of Lewis Hamilton into the first corner. He took one of his best pole positions in Singapore - a lap over six tenths quicker than anyone else - and rounded off his season with a dominant victory in Brazil. He was denied the title when Hamilton collected fifth place during the dying moments of the year, but Massa earned huge respect with the courteous and dignified manner in which he dealt with such a crushing defeat.

Ferrari was unable to deliver a strong car in 2009 but Massa nonetheless claimed a podium in Germany, before a life-threatening crash in Hungary. A spring detached from Rubens Barrichello's car and struck Massa's helmet, resulting in the Brazilian being placed into an artificial coma and ruling him out of the remainder of the campaign.

Massa returned to the grid in 2010 and finished his comeback race in second place, behind new team-mate Fernando Alonso. He was leading in Germany when informed that "Fernando is faster than you". He subsequently conceded top spot to Alonso in a move widely considered to be the implementation of team orders. His form dipped and he managed sixth place in the championship.

In 2011 he became the first Ferrari driver for 20 years to go an entire season without a podium and his dismal form continued into 2012, when he claimed just 11 points from the opening eight rounds, while Alonso was leading the championship. However, he picked up his form and made a welcome return to the podium in Japan, following it up with another top three in Brazil. He added another podium in 2013 and while he occasionally challenged at the front, he was frequently unable to mount a consistent performance across the course of a race weekend.