The Formula 1 racing team, Ferrari, gave its departing team member, Felipe Massa, an engine as a parting gift at its traditional Christmas luncheon on December 14. According to Ferrari, the engine was a gift from President Montezemolo and was a piece of machinery that played a special part in Massa's career with the famous Italian racing team.
The engine came from the Formula 1 car that very nearly took Mr. Massa to the Formula 1 World Championship in 2008.
In giving the gift, according to Ferrari, Mr. Montezemolo said, "It will do Felipe good to get out from Ferrari. He will be back with new motivation, like footballers who change teams for a while before returning to their own. The doors of this company will always be open to a man and a driver of his quality. His name is linked to Ferrari I want to thank him for his contribution over the eight years he spent with us."
Speaking at the luncheon, an emotional Massa, who drove for Ferrari for several years, said, "We started together so many years ago and I want to thank all of you, mechanics, engineers, everyone who works at the track and behind the scenes in Maranello."
"Each one of you has always given me so much support," he continued, "especially in the most difficult moments and I will never forget what Ferrari did for me when I had my accident in 2009. It’s in these circumstances that one understands what it means to be really loved and the atmosphere at Ferrari and the unique feeling of being part of the family is something I will miss a lot."
Addressing Team Principal, Stefano Domenicali, Mr. Massa said: "I look on you as my big brother. I thank you for everything you have done for me and for the opportunities you and the President have given me."
Finally, Massa spoke directly to his former Ferrari teammate, Fernando Alonso who remains with the team and will compete alongside new teammate Kimi Raikkonen in 2014. Referring to an incident between Massa and Alonso in the 2010 German Grand Prix, he said, "Thanks also to you Fer, we will meet again on track and this time I will try not to let you through.”
In 2013, Massa finished eighth in the drivers World Championship, earning 112 points driving for Ferrari. The Ferrari team itself came in third in the Constructors' Championship with 354 points, coming in behind Red Bull in first place, and Mercedes.
Though he is leaving Ferrari, Felipe Massa is not leaving Formula 1. It was announced last month that he will be racing for Williams with teammate, Valtteri Bottas.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Connie Ann Kirk has been credentialed by the FIA to write about Formula 1. With a historic racer from upstate New York, she is working on a book about racers and racing.