Evidently Felipe Massa hasn’t taken too kindly to his being sacked by Ferrari, with the Brazilian declaring that he will no longer work to support the championship ambitions of teammate Fernando Alonso as he sees out his final races with the Maranello squad.
The relationship between driver and team took a major hit at the 2010 German Grand Prix, where Massa was instructed via the famous “Fernando is faster than you” coded message to cede a certain race win to the Spaniard.
With Massa now set to vacate his race seat for Kimi Räikkönen in the off-season, the eleven-time race winner has vowed to focus all of his efforts on what is left of his time with the team, evidently no doubt in the hope of impressing what few teams would consider his services for 2014.
One of the seats in play is Räikkönen’s soon-to-be-vacated drive at Lotus, although it is believed by most that Sauber driver Nico Hülkenberg will get the nod.
“I will not race for Alonso from now on,” he said. “From Friday in Singapore I’ll be working for myself. I will attack all the time, every lap. The time has come to look after myself.”
But despite insisting that Alonso will be on his own as far as the championship fight is concerned – the two-time champion lies in second place in the standings, 53 points behind Sebastian Vettel – he and his teammate of four seasons will still remain friends.
“We have a nice relationship, I’m sure he sees me as a friend as I see him. Kimi and myself are also good friends, much more than when we were team-mates [in 2007-9].”
In speaking with Brazil’s Globo newspaper, Massa took a veiled swipe at the team’s decision to hire two frontline drivers for 2014, hinting at how Alonso was destabilised by having Lewis Hamilton as a teammate during his sole year with the McLaren outfit in 2007.
While he went on to praise Ferrari’s 2014 combination as a pair of “excellent drivers”, Massa predicted that there will be fireworks in the Italian team next year.
“I know Fernando and Kimi on and off the track, but I’m afraid they will collide when sharing the team,” he added. “I told the bosses to breathe while they can because it will be hard for them to breathe next season.”