Felipe Massa has revealed that he and Kimi Raikkonen are far from friends away from the circuit in Formula 1, adding that he expects no help from the Finn as he endeavours to defeat McLaren-Mercedes rival and world championship leader Lewis Hamilton for the 2008 drivers' crown.
Raikkonen may be the sport's defending title-winner, but Massa – currently 20 points ahead of his team-mate and just a single marker adrift of Hamilton in the standings with four races left to run – is irrefutably Ferrari's principal hope for glory twelve months on.
Though there have been a number of suggestions that now is the time for the Scuderia
to place all of its eggs in the Brazilian's basket, Massa is adamant he is fighting his own battles – and that his relationship with the driver of the sister F2008 is strictly professional
“Whether I do it (win the championship) or not is completely separate to what Kimi or anyone else does,” the 27-year-old told German newspaper Welt am Sonntag
. “I am sitting in the car; I am the one who wins races or makes mistakes. It is my game.
“We work with each other and want Ferrari to be world champion, but we are not friends; we have no private relationship. If we are together in a meeting, when it is finished he opens the door and is gone.”
Massa added that he is much closer to his previous team-mate Michael Schumacher – now a Ferrari advisor and a man he describes as being 'like an older brother' – and again underlined his conviction that he can be world champion this year.
“Otherwise I should not even be sitting in a Ferrari,” he quipped.