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Domenicali: Felipe has matured a lot.


Ferrari's team principal Stefano Domenicali has reflected on the 2008 Formula One season by praising the strides made by title contender Felipe Massa, who fell 18 seconds short of clinching a title double for the Scuderia at Interlagos.

With an eighth constructors' championship already in the bag as Massa and Kimi Raikkonen raced to a 1-3 finish in the season-ending Brazilian Grand Prix, all attention in the Ferrari pit was focused on whether there would be enough separation between the winner and Lewis Hamilton, who needed just fifth place to take the title back to McLaren.

At the start of the 71st, and final, lap, the Briton was sixth but, in a dramatic finale, managed to regain a top five spot by passing Timo Glock at the last corner. While some sections of the garage - and most of the partisan Sao Paolo crowd - was mistakenly celebrating, Domenicali had his head buried in calculations.

"To be honest, I knew that, in that moment, you can be too emotional and not rational, so I had a document checking off 'what happens if' scenarios," he revealed, "I was checking, okay first, second, third, fourth - still champion. And then I saw Lewis fifth, and I said 'okay, it is not done'."

"It was an incredible end to the season and, once again, I think we have to be proud of what we have done," he continued magnanimously, "There is no reason for us to look back and say 'what if, what if'. With what ifs you can build the world.

"I went [to McLaren] to congratulate [Hamilton] because, in sport, that is the way it has to be. I went there, I did my job, and I think it is correct. At the end of the day, he won by one point and it means that he was better by one point. He is a world champion.

"The only thing I can say is that we are extremely happy with the achievement we have done today on the constructors' championship. In eight of the last ten years, we were champions. It is something only Ferrari has done, so I am very proud of the team, and all of the guys - here in Brazil and those at home. For us, it is a great achievement."

Domenicali was particularly praising of Massa who, having had his contract extension scoffed at and rumoured to be walking a tightrope after failing to score in either of the opening rounds of 2008, came within a point of winning the drivers' championship.

"I am very happy for Felipe," Domenicali said, "He did an incredible season, and no-one in the beginning could have said something like that.



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Felipe Massa (BRA) Ferrari F2008, Brazilian F1 Grand Prix, Interlagos, 30th October 2008-2nd, November, 2008
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Pirelli 2017 tyre test [Credit: Pirelli]
27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner and 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, Start of the race, Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB12 and Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H and Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, Felipe Nasr (BRA) Sauber C34
27.11.2016 - Race,Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H  leads Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB12
27.11.2016 - Race, Felipe Nasr (BRA) Sauber C34 and Max Verstappen (NED) Red Bull Racing RB12
27.11.2016 - Race, Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB12 leads Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner and 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H

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Tim Burr - Unregistered

November 04, 2008 10:01 AM

I have to agree,Felipe has improved enormously since his rather wild Sauber days and is now a top notch driver and a really nice guy from what I have seen through the TV coverage.

justwatching - Unregistered

November 04, 2008 10:14 AM

Well done Felipe,despite not quite making it,you are an example to certain other drivers on how to behave,please don't change and become arrogant and selfish like others.Your time will come,perhaps if your team mate had helped you a bit more you could have done it this year.!!



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