London: Felipe Massa has left Ferrari with a V8 engine in his luggage and a promise to be less accommodating to Fernando Alonso in future.
The 32-year-old Brazilian, who is moving to Williams next season after eight years at Ferrari, attended a Christmas lunch at the Italian Formula One team’s Maranello factory along with Spaniard Alonso.
Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo presented the Brazilian with an engine from the F2008 car in which he almost won the 2008 world championship, losing out by a single point to Britain's Lewis Hamilton.
Massa referred affectionately to team principal Stefano Domenicali as his “big brother” and said he would never forget the team’s support for him after his near-fatal head injury at the 2009 Hungarian Grand Prix.
“It’s in these circumstances that one understands what it means to be really loved and the atmosphere at Ferrari and the unique feeling of being part of the family is something I will miss a lotů I will miss Ferrari,” Massa said.
He will not miss having to play a supporting role to Alonso, however. “Thanks also to you Fer. We will meet again on track and this time I will try not to let you through,” Massa told the Spaniard.
Alonso, meanwhile, said he was pleased with the progress made during his first experience of the 2014 Ferrari after trying it in the simulator.
"I'm pleased with the way the day on the simulator went. We managed to get through everything on the programme that we had in the pipeline. It was nice to be driving again, even if only in a virtual way.
"We went through a lot of ideas with the engineers. We are only at the start of a learning process, which is moving forward all the time, and it's nice to be able to contribute to it." (Reuters)