Massa Insists He Is Not a No. 2

Ross MessingerCorrespondent IJuly 29, 2010

BUDAPEST, HUNGARY - JULY 29:  Felipe Massa of Brazil and Ferrari attends the drivers press conference during previews to the Hungarian Formula One Grand Prix at the Hungaroring on July 29, 2010 in Budapest, Hungary.  (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)
Paul Gilham/Getty Images

Four days after the controversy that surrounded the German Grand Prix, the apparent atmosphere in the Formula One paddock is still very intense.

All key players involved in the team orders dispute have had a few days to take a step back, calm down, and plan word-for-word their reactions to the inevitable media grilling that will continue at this weekend's Hungarian Grand Prix.

Felipe Massa today spoke out about the incident for the first time since Sunday's race.

"The time I say I am a No. 2 driver, I will not race anymore," he said in Thursday's press conference.

Massa insists there is still a harmony between himself and Ferrari, and a mutual understanding of his role within the team.

"For sure I have spoken to everybody inside the team. As I said I am not here really to race, I am here to win. That is really my point. As long as I am in the condition to win, we need to go to the end, to fight for the victory.

"I am a professional, I work for the team, and everybody has to understand my point."

It's worth noting that the Brazilian still feels the need to express that he works for the team, a seemingly obvious point but one very relevant under these circumstances.

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Massa has clearly been conditioned now by Ferrari, and has played the perfect PR person for the team since he let Alonso pass after instructed to do so by his engineer whilst leading at Hockenheim.

His handling of the intense questioning posed to him by a flock of journalists postrace was sublime, and Fernando Alonso has no doubt come out of this incident with the most damaged reputation.

"You remember what happened in 2007 and 2008, so I don't think I have to go through all the points," Massa continued.

"If the team really has the chance to win the championship, I want the best for the team."

This all but confirms Massa's resignation to playing supporting driver at Ferrari, at least for the remainder of the 2010 season.

It'll be interesting to see how team principal Stefano Domenicali chooses his words in comparison with his driver when he faces the media during tomorrow's press conference.

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