'The time was right for Massa'

Friday 13-September-2013 12:34

Stefano Domenicali believes it is the right time for Ferrari to bid farewell to Felipe Massa who will be leaving at the end of this season.

Earlier this week, Massa announced that his days with Ferrari were numbered as he would not be staying on at the team next season. A day later Ferrari confirmed that 2007 World Champion Kimi Raikkonen would be taking his place.

Speaking about the decision to part ways with Massa, his team boss Domenicali says it was the "best choice" for both the driver and the team.

"At the start of the summer, we had a meeting to assess the situation and I reiterated that renewing our agreement was one of the options on the table, maybe it was even the most likely," the Italian explained.

"Then came a series of difficult races, for him and for the team and in the end, we realised the best choice, for both parties, was to make a change.

"I think that, even for Felipe, the time had come to look outside what had become his home for twelve years and which, to a certain extent, will always be his home.

"You see, I saw Felipe arrive in Maranello when he was just a kid and I will see him walk out of here a grown man. Together we have lived through some great moments and some dramatic times, which has made the personal rapport between us something special."

Domenicali went on to highlight his biggest disappointment which was when Massa came within second of winning the 2008 World title. Instead he lost it by a point to Lewis Hamilton.

"Obviously, the biggest disappointment is that I didn't get to see him become World Champion, which he almost did in 2008," he added.

"That day and indeed that whole year, there were some incredible incidents which went against him. The lesson in sporting dignity he gave the world that day on the Interlagos podium and also the maturity he displayed while talking to me last night will always stay with me.

"I am proud to have worked with him in our team for so many years and I'm sure he will know how to do some great things outside the Maranello environment."

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