‘Massa will always be part of Ferrari’s history’ – Montezemolo

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Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo led the thanks to outgoing driver Felipe Massa at the team’s annual Finali Mondiali (World Final) celebrations in Italy.

Massa was greeted by cheering fans at the track as he prepares to start his final two races as a Ferrari driver before joining Williams next year.

“Felipe has been a true Ferrari man and he will always be part of our history, for all the grands prix he drove for us, for the wins, the pole positions and for those few seconds when he was world champion that day in Brazil, before that overtaking move that always seemed a bit strange to me,” said di Montezemolo. Massa narrowly missed out on winning the 2008 world championship when Lewis Hamilton overtook Timo Glock on the final lap as the Toyota driver struggled for grip on a wet track on dry weather tires.

“I wish Felipe every success, starting with the last two races of this championship,” Montezemolo continued.

“As for the rest of his Formula One career, I wish him the very best, but naturally, behind a Ferrari and anyway, I am sure we will get many chances to meet up again, because life is long and he will always be part of our family.”

Hamilton: Abu Dhabi ‘the last race with good-looking cars’ in F1

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Lewis Hamilton believes that this weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix will be remembered as the last race with good-looking Formula 1 cars ahead of the introduction of the ‘Halo’ cockpit protection for next year.

Officials from the FIA and F1 Strategy Group confirmed earlier this year that the Halo would be fitted to all cars from the 2018 season in a bid to improve safety standards, with the deaths of Justin Wilson and Jules Bianchi putting head protection high on the agenda for the series’ chiefs.

Hamilton has long made his opposition to the Halo clear, believing it will ruin the look of F1 cars, and echoed his thoughts ahead of the final Halo-less race in Abu Dhabi this weekend.

“It’s the last year of looking good I think in the cars. It’s the last race where the cars will look good,” Hamilton said.

“I think next year, it’s all downhill from there in terms of how they look.

“But safety will go up at least, and maybe it could be successful in some way.”

Hamilton’s F1 title rival Sebastian Vettel was less bothered about the change, believing the field will adjust and move on.

“The cars will look different next year. Everything I’ve seen so far looks different, but on the other hand it is something we all get used to,” Vettel said.

“But no doubt the cars look better now, but we’ll get used to it, and we’ll work on the aesthetics so it can be better. It is less of a big deal.”

Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo shared Vettel’s view, saying: “I don’t think it’s gonna be as dramatic as most people make it out to be.”