When Felipe Massa crossed the finishing line at the Brazilian Grand Prix back in 2008 he thought he was world champion.
Thirty seconds later his success and elation had been shattered before his very eyes as Lewis Hamilton’s late charge snatched the title away from the Brazilian by a single point.
Massa’s career has never fully recovered, his freak crash in Hungary the following year kept him out of action for the rest of the 2009 season, and ever since his return the Brazilian has failed to rediscover his early form.
His homecoming to Ferrari wasn’t helped by his new team mate Fernando Alonso who diverted the team’s attention as a three time world champion, demoting Massa the number two driver.
Ironically Massa’s team mate when he came so close to claiming the title, Kimi Raikkonen, is now the man replacing him, meaning Massa is currently without a drive for 2014.
Now 32 years of age, Massa has been linked with the likes of McLaren and Lotus as his once promising career threatens to fizzle out.
A new challenge and team could just be the solution to rejuvenate Massa’s career, since his time at Ferrari turned pretty sour subsequent to his accident.
After his first season as Alonso’s team mate it became clear that Massa was unlikely to challenge for another world title. The famous words of “Fernando is faster than you” must still ring around the Brazilian’s helmet as it confirmed his disheartening position in the team.
It may have slammed another dent into Massa’s confidence soon but he came to terms that his only place at Ferrari was as a number two driver.
Massa showed glimpses of the form which brought him so close to winning the Championship, but he is still yet to win a race since the demoralising win in Brazil 2008.
After spending four years as Alonso’s wing man Massa’s inconsistency has led to Ferrari’s decision to recall the experienced Raikkonen, who Massa outperformed when they were teammates five years ago.
It remains to be seen if Raikkonen will have the same obedience towards Alonso that Massa did, as Ferrari will face the dilemma of having two world champions in the same team.
As for Massa, his career is now unclear. Providing he gets a drive for next year the Brazilian will be keen to rediscover some of his early promise, after being continuously knocked back. However there’s no getting away from the fact he hasn’t lived up to his full potential and could have achieved a lot more.
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