Fernando Alonso and Ferrari Team Principal Stefano Domenicali have saluted the departing Felipe Massa, who makes way at Maranello for Kimi Raikkonen’s return.
As reported on Tuesday, Felipe Massa will leave Ferrari at the close of the year, ending an eight year stint at the team which stretches back to 2006.
The 33-year-old has been raced alongside Michael Schumacher, Kimi Raikkonen and Fernando Alonso in his time at the Scuderia and was a principal player in their back to back Constructors’ titles in 2007 and 2008.
Stefano Domenicali, who has worked alongside Massa for the last eight years, congratulated the Brazilian on his unswerving loyalty to the team and stated that he would always remain a part of the Ferrari family.
“I wish to thank Felipe with all my heart and also on behalf of all our fans around the world, for the extraordinary job he has done for the team over so many years.
“Felipe has always behaved like a real team player. Together we have lived through some great times and also a few dramatic moments, which have helped to cement a truly unique relationship on both a professional and personal level.
“He will always be part of our family and we wish him all the very best for the future. Now we must concentrate all our efforts on the remaining seven races of the season and we know that, as always, we can count on Felipe’s contribution, while we work together to reach our goals. Our determination will not waver one iota right to the very end.”
Fernando Alonso, who has partnered Massa at Ferrari since 2010, took to Twitter to share his feelings on the Brazilian’s announcement, where he posted several photos of the pair from their time together at the Scuderia, alongside the message: “All the luck for the next few years. You will be a strong opponent in any team! And we still have seven Grands Prix to have some fun!”
Alonso later added a longer message which stated: “I want to thank Felipe for all the support he has given me and the team during this journey we have made together over all these years.
“Come the end of the season, it will not be easy to say goodbye to a team mate like him. He has always been truly professional and loyal to the team and I am sure that right to the end, he will do his utmost for the Scuderia that he loves so much.”
Felipe Massa has not yet countered out the possibility of continuing his Formula One career with another team for 2014.
Image courtesy of Octane Photographic