Massa confirms Ferrari departure
10 September 2013 – Felipe Massa has confirmed that he will be leaving Ferrari at the end of the season, thus concluding an eight-year stint with the famous Italian marque.
The Brazilian has been under severe pressure in recent weeks, and his departure seemingly clears the way for current Lotus driver Kimi Räikkönen, who remains Ferrari's most recent title-winner, to return to the Maranello-based outfit.
In a statement on his Instagram account, Massa revealed: "From 2014 I will no longer be driving for Ferrari. I would like to thank the team for all the victories and incredible moments experienced together. Thank you also to my wife and all of my family, to my fans and all my sponsors. From each one of you I have always received a great support! Right now I want to push as hard as possible with Ferrari for the remaining seven races."
Massa has been regularly out-paced by team-mate Fernando Alonso since the Spaniard signed in 2010, with his last race win coming during his title-challenging season back in 2008. Nevertheless, the 32-year-old made clear that he has no intentions of quitting the sport, and is ready to embark on a new chapter in his career.
"For next year, I want to find a team that can give me a competitive car to win many more races and challenge for the Championship which remains my greatest objective," he concluded.
Having entered Formula 1 with Sauber in 2002, Massa's raw pace soon alerted Ferrari chiefs. A subsequent stint as the team's test driver in 2003 helped to iron out his ragged driving style, and he thrived under the tutelage of Michael Schumacher. A graduation to a race seat followed in 2006, with a first win coming at the Turkish Grand Prix.
His tenure at Ferrari reached its zenith in 2008, when he came within a few hundred metres of claiming the Drivers' title. A frightening head injury sustained at the Hungarian Grand Prix ended his 2009 campaign prematurely, and despite a remarkable comeback, the 11-time race winner has since struggled to recapture his pre-injury form.