Felipe Massa has admitted that he thought his F1 career could be over as he battled to regain his form last season.
The Brazilian endured a tough start to the season and was comprehensively out-performed by team-mate Fernando Alonso through the first half of the year – leading to speculation that he could lose his drive for 2013.
Massa ultimately did enough to retain his place in the Ferrari line-up for the new season and enjoyed a more solid end to the year, with the man who finished second in the standings to Lewis Hamilton back in 2008 admitting that he feels he can return to winning ways during the year ahead.
If he were able to taste victory for the first time since 2008, it would cap a remarkable turnaround for the 31-year-old who admits that he considered if his career was over less than twelve months ago.
"Yeah. I thought about so many things,” he told BBC Sport
when asked if he considered retirement. “I thought maybe I was finished. I thought about not staying in Ferrari. I did not know what would happen. So many things were inside my brain.
"I talked to everyone. But I also did work with a professional psychologist, sporting psychologist. That was just the beginning. After that I was able to change the direction to think, the direction to work and I think it was like training I did. But also I think my family helps, definitely 100 per cent."
Massa added that he now had to pick up the results on track to repay Ferrari for showing faith in him for another season.
"The result is the most important thing,” he said. “If you are able to show things change very quickly in F1, people who are sure you are finished they say different things after.
"Many people said I was just using fuel at the beginning of the year and then after they want me to stay in Ferrari because it was the best option. It is important to work to get the good result. If you have that nothing else is important.
"I am very confident I can be in good shape, which I was [at the end of last year] even if it was not winning the race. But we did not have the car.”