Felipe Massa Sumar
Peter Sauber is well known for his talent spotting abilities and at the end of the 2000 season he brought young Finn Kimi Raikkonen in to test out his F1 car. From there he quickly signed the youngster up to drive for him in the 2001 season and the rest is history. With Raikkonen opting to go to McLaren for the new season and leave behind the man that made him a star, Peter Sauber was forced to look elsewhere for his second driver and once again an up and rising
young driver will get his chance.
, born on the 25th of April 1982 in Sao Paulo Brazil, will be just 19 years old when he takes to the Albert Park circuit next March to make his debut in the pinnacle of Motorsports. Felipe Massa spent many years in the Karting series, staring back in 1990 when he finished fourth in the Sao Paolo Micro-Kart cat. Sixth the following year and third in '93, Felipe Massa continued in the series until 1998 when he made his debut in Formula Chevrolet with a fifth place finish in the Brazilian championship only to clinch the title the following season.
In 2000 Felipe Massa took victory in the Formula Renault Italian Series Championship followed the following year with yet another title to his name in the Formula Renault European Series Championship. 2001 saw yet another highlight in his career when he won the European F3000 championship with one race remaining.
Everybody was saying good things about Felipe Massa, beginning with Peter Sauber, who was convinced by his first fast laps at the end of season Mugello tests and signed the youngster up to the team for the 2002 season.
His debut season saw a plenty of pace from Felipe Massa
, but this was also punctuated with a wild streak that saw him spend plenty of time in gravel traps. Felipe Massa secured a season best placing of fifth in Spain, albeit it behind team-mate Nick Heidfeld as well as two other sixth positions. It was not enough to keep the Brazilian in Formula One, but after spending one season as a test driver for Ferrari in 2003, Felipe Massa returned to Sauber in 2004.
Having rid himself of some of his rougher edges testing with Ferrari, Massa was keen to show he fully deserved to be in F1 full time on his return. Massa scored points on five occasions and classifying himself 12th in the drivers' championship but could not quite match the pace of team-mate Giancarlo Fisichella over the season as a whole. The highlight of Massa's season was not his solid fourth position at Spa Francorchamps, but leading one lap of his home Grand Prix at Interlagos, the final race of the season.
Felipe Massa remained with Sauber in 2005 and was joined in the squad by former Champion Jacques Villeneuve. Undaunted by having a former Champion as a team-mate, Massa blitzed Villeneuve in the early part of the season as the Canadian adapted to life with the Swiss team. It was a tough season for all at Sauber however as Massa notched up just 11 points with his best result being a fourth position in Montreal.
The Brazilian gets his big break in 2006 however as he moves from Sauber to join Michael Schumacher at Ferrari. Massa has proven he has the pace and racing alongside Schumacher he has the opportunity to learn from the most successful driver of all time. 2006 is a big year for Felipe Massa.
Felipe Massa F1 site Sponsors