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Domenicali backs Massa

Thursday 17-January-2013 09:27

Stefano Domenicali is convinced he made the right decision in retaining Felipe Massa for this year's Championship.

Struggling to get to grips with his F2012 and its Pirelli tyres last season, Massa was a driver under-fire while Domenicali was under pressure to replace the Brazilian.

Massa's results, though, improved as the season progressed with the 31-year-old beating the odds of bookmakers like Paddy Power, by achieving a podium finish at round 15, the Japanese GP - his first top-three result since Korean 2010.

Handing a new one-year contract for 2013, Domenicali insists his driver will begin the new season in the same strong form that he completed last year and warned that people who like to bet on F1 would ignore the Brazilian at their peril.

"I think the toughest part of Felipe's career is now behind him," said the Ferrari team boss.

"After last summer, his approach turned about and as a result, his performance on track changed and he managed to show just how talented he is.

"I'm sure his problem was not linked to his contractual situation.

"Personally, there was a lot of pressure on me regarding possible changes, but in the interests of the team, I preferred to wait and today, I'm convinced that keeping Felipe in the Ferrari family was the right decision.

"His performance in the second half of the season contributed significantly to our second place in the Constructors' classification: for the team that is a strong point and for Fernando, it provides further impetus to try even harder."

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