Massa looking for more

Felipe Massa went for a couple of nice rides last Sunday.

updated: February 25, 2007 11:36 IST
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Istanbul, Turkey:

Felipe Massa went for a couple of nice rides last Sunday. First, he tooled his Ferrari around Istanbul Park 58 times for his first Formula One victory. Afterward, Fernando Alonso and Michael Schumacher, second and third at the Turkish Grand Prix, hoisted Massa on their shoulders. "It's just fantastic, I've been working so hard through my whole career to get to this moment," Massa said. "These two guys know what I'm talking about." Alonso and Schumacher, who hold eight world titles and 113 victories between them, are battling for the Formula One championship, with Alonso leading by eight points. "When you spend your whole career getting to F1 and when you get there and win your first race, it's just amazing," Massa said. Born in Sao Paulo, Brazil, the 25-year-old started out racing go-karts and was hailed as the new Ayrton Senna, referring to the three-time Formula One champion from Brazil who was killed at the San Marino GP in 1994. In 2001, Massa won the F3000 European championship. That led to his first Formula One test. He joined the Sauber team, replacing Kimi Raikkonen, for the 2002 season. Massa didn't distinguish himself as a 20-year-old rookie. In his first race, he was involved in a crash on the first turn and was forced to stop. Later that year, he caused a crash at the Italian GP. At season's end, the contract was not renewed. But Ferrari made him a test driver in 2003. The next two seasons Massa raced for Sauber, using second-hand Ferrari engines, while still under contract to Ferrari. His finished deep in the standings - 13th and 12th. This season, he replaced Rubens Barrichello and raced alongside Schumacher at Ferrari. But even after the Turkish Grand Prix victory, the Brazilian's spot on the Ferrari team is not secure. In the first seven races, Massa had a best of third. In the last seven, he has a win, two seconds, a third, two fifths and a seventh. After last Sunday's victory, Ferrari team boss Jean Todt praised Massa but stressed Ferrari's needs. "He will probably be even more dedicated to help the team," Todt said. At Istanbul, Schumacher was stuck behind Alonso in third. Had Schumacher moved up to second, it's possible Massa would have been expected to move aside to allow Schumacher to score more points in his duel with Alonso. With four races left, Alonso leads 108-96. A Schumacher win and Alonso third-place finish would have made it 106-100. There's certainly a precedent. In 2002, Barrichello was ordered to move aside for Schumacher at the Austrian Grand Prix. Todt was coy when asked if he wanted Schumacher to win last Sunday. "You will never know," he said. Soon, however, all will know who will drive for the team next season. Ferrari is expected to name its 2007 driver lineup on September 10 at the Italian Grand Prix. There has been much speculation about possible changes to the team. Schumacher might race with Ferrari, another team or retire. Raikkonen also has been linked to Ferrari - with or without Schumacher. No matter the lineup, Massa relishes his victory in a Ferrari. "I always dreamed to be a Ferrari driver and to win my first race for Ferrari is definitely something special for me," Massa said. (AP)