Di Montezemolo proud of “champion” Massa

luca di montezemolo 6Ferrari chief congratulates Lewis and consoles Massa after thrilling title showdown in Brazil

Luca di Montezemolo has offered his consolation to Felipe Massa, describing the Brazilian as a “great champion and a great man” after his world came crashing down in Sau Paulo yesterday.

The Ferrari boss had to endure, along with the rest of the Italian squad, the agony of watching Massa win the Brazilian Grand Prix, and with it the championship, only for Lewis Hamilton to clinch the fifth place he needed to become champion moments later at the last corner of the last lap.

“In all my years in Formula 1, I haven t seen such an incredibly exciting finish to a championship,” di Montezemolo told FerrariWorld.com. “I always said that we d be fighting until the last corner of the last Grand Prix and that s exactly what happened at the end of a brilliantly tense competition.

“Felipe in is in my thoughts as he crossed the finish line yesterday as world champion only to see the title slip through his fingers a few seconds later. I can only imagine how painful that moment must have been for him.”

Despite Massa’s gut-wrenching disappointment, Di Montezemolo was quick to point to his sterling victory in front of his home crowd.

“However, I would like to give him my very special compliments, not only for dominating the running out there on the track in front of his fans, proving he is worthy indeed of the world title, but also for his maturity and sportsmanship off the track. He s a great champion and a great man.”

Massa’s emotional victory in Brazil secured the constructors’ title for Ferrari, the sixteenth in the team’s illustrious history, and Di Montezemolo was quick to congratulate the team for its efforts this season.

“Ferrari s winning its 16th Constructors World title since its foundation is an important milestone not only because it is the fruit of the work put in by the team and the drivers throughout the entire Championship, but also because we will once again be able to put the World Champion symbol on our Grand Tourers,” he said.

“Winning for the eighth time in 10 years a feat unequalled at world level in any other team sport – proves beyond a shadow of a doubt what an extraordinary group we are.”

The Ferrari chief was also quick to congratulate Lewis Hamilton on becoming the youngest world champion in the sport’s history.

“I would like to send my congratulations to Lewis Hamilton, the youngest ever world champion in the history of Formula 1,” he said.

“He was a very powerful rival indeed and his win, close though it was, was well deserved. He ll have the number 1 on his car next season, but he can rest assured of one thing: we ll be doing our very best to put it back on a Ferrari.”