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Felipe Massa has admitted that the uncertainty over his Ferrari future affected his performances in the first half of 2012, with a wide range of rival drivers linked to the Brazilian's coveted seat after he endured an extremely difficult start to the season.
Having scored just 23 points in the opening half of the 2012 campaign, Massa comprehensively recovered and added to his tally in the remaining ten races of the season, including podium finishes in the Japanese and Brazilian Grands Prix.
"In the first half of the year, I was worried about renewing my contract," he said. "I did not think that Ferrari would really wait right to the end of the summer before deciding on the drivers for next year.
"It’s true that ever since I’ve been at Maranello, there have always been rumours about me: already in my first year there was a list of drivers who were supposed to take my place and it was the same this year, with a lot of names and plenty of speculation."
Massa added that a change of mindset during the summer break set up his resurgence, with the 31-year-old opting to ignore rumours and simply enjoy himself.
"At the start, I paid too much attention to these things, but then, in August, I told myself I should only think about racing and having fun and so I began to really drive, to have the right feeling with the car and to drive as quickly as I know how," he said of his approach from the midway point of the championship onwards.
"Now I feel very strong and the results were there to see in the last nine races: so I am optimistic for the future, mine and Ferrari’s."
Massa will embark upon an eighth season as a Ferrari driver in 2013, having claimed 15 pole positions and 11 Grand Prix victories with the famous marque to date.
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