Felipe Massa has responded angrily to suggestions made by former Formula 1 team owner Eddie Jordan that he may attempt to take world championship rival Lewis Hamilton out of the Brazilian Grand Prix at Interlagos this weekend.
Earlier this week Jordan – who ran his eponymous Jordan Grand Prix outfit in the top flight from its entry in 1991 until its buy-out by Midland 14 years later – told the Daily Express
that he believed the Ferrari star running into Hamilton at Fuji Speedway had been a deliberate action [see separate story – click here
], adding in a warning that 'if Massa tries to take him out as he did in Japan in order to steal the title then Lewis has to be ready for it'.
The top flight has a history of controversial title-deciding finales, involving most famously such greats as Michael Schumacher, Damon Hill, Jacques Villeneuve, Alain Prost and Massa's hero Ayrton Senna – in whose wheeltracks Massa is attempting to follow as the next Brazilian world champion, and who unceremoniously turfed Prost off the track into the first corner at Suzuka in 1990, in a move that many saw as retribution for the pair having collided in the same race the previous year to the Frenchman's benefit.
Massa, however, has rubbished any such claims, fiercely denying his Japanese clash with Hamilton was deliberate whilst acknowledging that criticism and being regularly under-estimated within F1 only serve to further strengthen his resolve to succeed.
“Since he sold his team, Eddie Jordan has had nothing to do with Formula 1 except for what he says in the press,” the São Paulista told Brazilian website Globoesporte
“People always put me completely out of the game. Nobody expects you to do a good job, and then you do a better job than everyone thinks and it's even nicer.”
“Playing dirty has never been part of my game,” he added in an interview with the Press Association
. “I don't want anything to do with it. The only thing on my mind is winning the race. The rest does not depend on me.
“If I'm champion, it will be a dream come true. If not, that's okay; I will try again next year.”
Massa needs to beat Hamilton by seven points in his home city if he is to lift the laurels – and the 27-year-old confirmed that, much like David Coulthard, he will be sporting his lucky underpants for the occasion, the same ones that he has worn for each of his ten grand prix victories and 14 pole positions in the uppermost echelon to-date.
“Who knows, maybe if I am champion it will be time to retire them,” he laughed.