Felipe Massa has called last weekend’s Japanese Grand Prix the worst race of his life following Jules Bianchi’s accident in the final few laps at Suzuka.
Bianchi crashed into a recovery vehicle being used to remove Adrian Sutil’s stricken Sauber, suffering severe head injuries and a diffuse axonal injury that has left him in a critical condition in hospital.
The Formula 1 paddock has arrived in Sochi for this weekend’s Russian Grand Prix under a cloud, with all thoughts lying with Bianchi and his family at this difficult time.
Speaking in today’s FIA press conference, Massa, who himself suffered a severe head injury at the 2009 Hungarian Grand Prix, spoke about his feelings following the accident.
“I think it was the worst race of my life,” the Williams driver said. “It’s a really bad race, worse than the race of my accident – because I didn’t remember. It was the worst race of my life.
“It’s so difficult because I can just be thinking about him, thinking about Jules. It’s a very difficult weekend for all of us.
“Maybe tomorrow it will get a little bit better because at least you are working, at least you have something to think about, some issue put inside your brain. Try to race and do the best we can for him, for his family. But anyway, it was the worse race of my life.”
However, Massa said that incidents such as this do not make him reconsider racing in Formula 1 despite the inherent risks.
“Well, for sure you think about it, but it doesn’t mean that’s the right thing to do,” Massa said. “What I love to do is to race. What I love to do is to be competing. That’s where I feel happiness. That’s where I feel pleasure.
“We know that in what we’re doing we have a risk in this sport, but I think it’s what I like to do. It’s where I really feel happy, it gives me motivations and give me some happiness.
“Sometimes you think about it but then you’re thinking more and you understand that this is my world, this is what I like to do.”