Massa announces departure from Ferrari
Felipe Massa announced Tuesday that he will leave Ferrari at the end of the Formula One season, opening the path for Kimi Raikkonen to rejoin the Italian team as the new partner for Fernando Alonso.
Massa used his official Twitter account to post the announcement with a message on Instagram.
“From 2014 I will no longer be driving for Ferrari,” Massa wrote. “I would like to thank the team for all the victories and incredible moments experienced together.”
The 32-year-old Massa has made 184 starts for Ferrari, winning 11 races since joining in 2006 from Sauber.
All of the Brazilian’s wins with Ferrari came during his first three seasons with the team. He hasn’t won a race since a life-threatening accident at the Hungarian Grand Prix in 2009 and his contract is up at the end of this season.
“Right now I want to push as hard as possible with Ferrari for the remaining seven races,” Massa said. “For next year, I want to find a team that can give me a competitive car to win many more races and challenge for the Championship which remains my greatest objective!”
Raikkonen, who currently drives for Lotus, has been heavily linked with a return to Ferrari. The Finn raced for Ferrari from 2007-2009, and his title in 2007 was the last time Ferrari won the driver’s crown.
Massa’s announcement comes during turbulent times at Ferrari, which this season has again been unable to stop Red Bull’s dominance.
During last weekend’s Italian GP, Alonso and Ferrari were again forced to downplay talk of a rift after the Spanish driver lost his temper with team officials during qualifying.
It remains to be seen if Alonso will also leave or duel for the team’s top driver status with Raikkonen next season.