Massa prepares for emotional Ferrari farewell

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Felipe Massa is preparing to race for Ferrari for the 139th and final time this weekend at his home race in Brazil (live on NBC from 11am), and he has spoken about his best and worst memories with the team today in Sao Paulo.

“I would say the happiest moment was, I think, the first time I won in Brazil, 2006, with the green and yellow overalls,” Massa explained. “I think that was definitely the best moment for me. You know how important it is for a Brazilian to win at home. If you remember well, Senna was more happy to win in Brazil than to win a championship so you can see how important it is for a Brazilian to win here.”

Massa joined Ferrari in 2006 as a teammate for Michael Schumacher, but he proved his worth by claiming two wins during his debut season with the Scuderia including his home race in Brazil. It was a peerless performance at the front of the pack that year, but he claimed a second win on home soil in 2008 as he lost out to Lewis Hamilton by a single point in the championship decider.

“It was a very special moment, not just that time but even 2008 was a special moment. I won the race here, it was Sao Paulo, quickest lap.”

However, Massa picked two rather obvious low moments during his time with Ferrari.

“I think the toughest moment was… definitely the accident was not a great moment and maybe the race in Hockenheim, 2010.”

Massa was hospitalized following a horrific accident during qualifying for the 2009 Hungarian Grand Prix, but he remarkably recovered to get back in the car in time for the beginning of the 2010 season. However, when he looked set to win the German Grand Prix exactly one year on from the accident, he was asked to move aside for Fernando Alonso as Ferrari controversially used team orders.

As he prepares for a new life with Williams in 2014, Massa will hope to give his faithful following in Brazil one final memory of him behind the wheel of a Ferrari.

Toyota victorious in Bahrain on Porsche’s LMP1 swansong

Toyota Motorsport GmbH
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SAKHIR, Bahrain – Toyota denied Porsche a swansong victory in its final LMP1 appearance in the FIA World Endurance Championship by taking a commanding win in the 6 Hours of Bahrain on Saturday.

Porsche started from pole in the last competitive outing for the three-time Le Mans-winning 919 Hybrid car, only to lose out to Toyota’s Sebastien Buemi within the first half an hour of the race.

Porsche lost one of its cars from contention for victory after an errant bollard got stuck underneath Timo Bernhard’s No. 2 entry, leaving Nick Tandy to lead its charge in the No. 1 car.

Tandy moved into the lead just past half distance after a bold strategy call from Porsche to triple-stint the Briton after a fuel-only stop, vaulting him ahead of Anthony Davidson in the No. 8 Toyota.

Tandy’s win hopes were soon dashed when he tangled with a GTE-Am backmarker at Turn 1, sustaining damage that forced Porsche into an unplanned pit stop that put the car a lap down.

With the No. 7 Toyota losing two laps following a clash with a GTE-Pro car earlier on, Davidson, Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima went unchallenged en route to the car’s fifth victory of the season.

Porsche rounded out the podium with its cars, with the No. 2 leading home the No. 1, leaving Toyota’s No. 7 car to settle for P4 at the checkered flag.

Vaillante Rebellion clinched the title in LMP2 after a stunning fightback led by Bruno Senna, with the Brazilian securing his maiden motorsport championship win in the process.

GTE-Pro saw AF Corse complete a hat-trick of titles in 2017, with James Calado and Alessandro Pier Guidi wining the class’ first world championship recognized by the FIA, while Paul Dalla Lana, Pedro Lamy and Mathias Lauda sewed up the GTE-Am title.