One Brazilian in for another at Ferrari next year
Felipe Massa will race for Ferrari in 2006, replacing Rubens Barrichello who will leave the team at the end of this season. Massa, currently driving for Sauber, is no stranger to Ferrari, having served as their official test driver in 2003.
Massas appointment was confirmed with Ferraris announcement that they have taken up a renewable option on the Brazilian in a contract that dates back to 2001. He will partner Michael Schumacher next season.
I am very happy and proud to be racing with Ferrari in 2006, said Massa. Maranello has believed in me since 2001, when I had yet to make my Formula One debut. Now, I am in my third season as a Sauber driver and I can also count on a years experience as a Ferrari test driver, an experience which helped me to grow a great deal.
I feel ready for this new challenge, which is the best opportunity of my career. I am aware of the responsibility it places on me and I cannot wait to be part of a team like Ferrari, alongside the best driver in the world, Michael Schumacher.
Barrichellos departure marks the end of a collaboration with the Italian team dating back to 2000. During that time the Brazilian has won nine Grands Prix, contributing to their five constructors championships in that period.