Born on the 25th of April in 1981 Felipe Massa was always destined to take up a career in motorsports. Born in Sao Paulo Brazil he began his career as do many Brazilians by taking up Karting. Between 1990 and 1997 the young Brazilian learned his trade in the various Kart event in his homeland, winning a good few races and gathering interest from bigger names in the sport.
In 1998 Felipe moved on to compete in the Formula Chevrolet championship where he became champion of the series in 1999 and in doing so highlighted his talents to a much broader audience. In 2000 it was time for him to move again this time to the Formula Renault series, were once again his talents shone and he took plenty of praise from the season.
However Felipe's dream of F1 was still to come true and he continued to learn and race in tough environments and it was in 2001 that he moved to the European F3000 series and became champion for the year with 6 wins out of 8 races along with plenty of fastest laps and pole positions.
It was these performances that finally brought about his entry into Formula One when he joined the Sauber team for the 2002 season. Massa had hoped to try and get a test drive in F1 but when Sauber offered him a full time drive he jumped at the chance. However it was a mixed season for the Brazilian. His driving was called into question plenty of times as he made mistakes that cost his team points, but everyone admired the way he was driving and the spirit he showed. Every lap was a hot lap when Felipe was on track. But sadly this was not what Sauber needed and come the end of the season his contract would not be renewed.
The winter of 2002 would see him court for a drive with the Jordan team, but this deal failed to come off and in February 2003 he signed with the legendary Ferrari team to be an official test driver for the Maranello team in 2003. Massa was given a big part to play in the Ferrari team during 2003 and was focusing mainly on tyre testing to ensure that both Michael and Rubens had the best tyres for the coming race. Massa used his year with Ferrari wisely and learned a lot from the team and from Michael Schumacher, and come the end of the year he was re-signed to Sauber for a race seat in 2004 and would also be used by Ferrari if they required him to test.
2004/5 would see Massa continue to develop as a racing driver and keep his dreams of a Ferrari drive alive with some strong performances if not somewhat inconsistent. In 2005 paired alongside 97 world championship winner Jacques Villeneuve Felipe was able to show that he has what it takes to be consistent over a season, and his reward was a drive with Ferrari for the 2006 season.
Massa's debut season with Ferrari would see him take 3rd place in the overall standings and take 2 wins for the team, the highlight being a home win from pole position in Brazil. Massa matured greatly as the season progressed and really proved he has the talent to be a very successful driver for Ferrari in 2007 when he will be paired up against Kimi Raikkonen.
In 2007 Felipe surprised many with his performances up against Raikkonen, Felipe was able to keep up with his team mate for much of the season but technical problems and some driving errors saw him fall out of the title race in the later stages of the season, but Ferrari were very happy with his will to win. Felipe was very close to Michael Schumacher in 2007 and seemed to thrive on the advice given to him by the 7 times champion. Felipe proved himself as a great team player by giving up a win at his home track in Brazil to let Raikkonen take the driver's title.
2008 would see Massa really reach for the top as he led Ferrari's title challenge. In a season with many twists and turns Felipe lost out by a single point to Lewis Hamilton at his home race in Brazil. The season had started poorly for Felipe with 0 points scored after 2 races, spinning out of the lead in Malaysia and people began to question if he had what it takes. But Felipe kept fighting and turned his season around with some stunning drives, he was also dealt cruel luck as his engine gave up with 3 laps to go in Hungary, a botched pitstop in Singapore, both costing him race wins. He also had his own problems with a poor drive at Silverstone, but over the season Felipe certainly was the most improved driver in the field and for a brief moment in Brazil it looked like his dream had come true, but it was not to be. A great season for Felipe and a season he can be very proud about but he will want to take his form into 2009 and set about claiming that world title.
2009 was not to be Felipe's year, the Ferrari F60 was clearly not a title challenger but he gave it is all and was in decent form, but a nasty accident in Hungary left Felipe out for the remainder of the season. A spring from the rear suspension hit Felipe on the visor and he was knocked unconscious as he ploughed into the barriers. It was seemingly touch and go for Felipe in the days after the accident but he made a remarkable recovery and was soon back in the Ferrari pit itching to get back into the car. Felipe's accident touched the heats of many and he found how much the Tifosi support him as he was overwhelmed with get well messages.
2010 saw the return to the cockpit for Felipe and many fans wondered if the accident would affect him, these fears were quickly put to rest as he out qualified his new team mate Fernando Alonso in the season opener in Bahrain, however it was not to be the best of seasons for Felipe as he constantly struggled to adapt the car to get heat in the tyres. This cost him dearly in his battle with Alonso however it was the German GP that most will remember in 2010 with Massa in the lead he was asked to yield position to his team mate behind. Felipe being the ultimate team player gave the win to Alonso. To his credit Felipe kept pushing for the remainder of the season but apart from one or two good performances it was not the best of seasons for the Brazilian who will be hoping 2011 brings much more for himself and the team.
Karting 1990 –97
1990 4th place in Micro Kart A - Sao Paulo Championship
1991 6th place in Micro Kart - Sao Paulo Championship
1992 3rd place in Minor Junior Kart - Sao Paulo Championship
1993 4th place in Minor Junior Kart - Sao Paulo Championship, 2nd place in Minor Junior Kart - Sao Paulo Championship
1994 6th place in Minor Junior Kart, 4th place in Schincariol Super Junior Cup, 1st place in Parilla Junior Cup, 7th place in Junior Kart - Brazilian Championship
1995 3rd place in Formula Kart - Sao Paulo Championship
1997 3rd place in Graded Kart - Brazilian Championship, 1st place in Granja Viana 500 miles.
Formula Chevrolet 1988-99
1998 2nd place in Brasilia leg (fastest lap and track record), 1st place in Interlagos 10th leg, pole position and fastest lap.
1999 Champion - three wins (Curitiba, Londrina and Interlagos), Two pole positions ( Londrina and Interlagos) and fastest lap (Londrina)
2000 Italian Champion - 5 wins (one extra-championship), European Championship - 3 wins, Six pole positions, Six fastest laps.
2001 Champion - 6 wins in 8 legs, Winning in Vallelunga (pole position and fastest lap), Pergusa (pole position), Monza (fastest lap), Imola (pole position) and fastest lap), Nurburgring (pole position and best lap) and Valencia (pole position and fastest lap). Pole position in Zolder, where did not finish.
2002 Driver with the Sauber F1 team scoring 4 points.
2003 Official test driver for Scuderia Ferrari.
2004 Driver with the Sauber F1 team and Ferrari test driver.
2005 Driver with the Sauber F1 team.
2006 Driver with the Ferrari F1 team.
2007 Driver with the Ferrari F1 team.
2008 Driver with the Ferrari F1 team.
2009 Driver with the Ferrari F1 team.
2010 Driver with the Ferrari F1 team.
2011 Driver with the Ferrari F1 team.