Maranello: Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso and team principal Stefano Domenicali have paid tribute to Brazilian Felipe Massa, who will leave the outfit at the end of the year to be replaced by Lotus` Kimi Raikkonen.
The 32-year-old has raced for Ferrari from 2006 till now, notching up 11 wins, helping the Italian team to the constructors’ title in 2007 and 2008 and almost winning the 2008 drivers` crown.
“I wish to thank Felipe with all my heart and also on behalf of all our fans around the world for the extraordinary job he has done for the team over so many years. He has always behaved like a real team player. Together we have lived through some great times and also a few dramatic moments which have helped to cement a truly unique relationship on both a professional and personal level," Domenicali was quoted as saying on Formula1.com.
“Felipe will always be part of our family and we wish him all the very best for the future. Now we must concentrate all our efforts on the remaining seven races of the season and we know that, as always, we can count on Felipe’s contribution while we work together to reach our goals. Our determination will not waver one iota right to the very end.”
Former double World Champion Alonso posted a collage of photos of him and Massa on Twitter with the message.
"All the luck for next years! You will be a strong opponent in any team! And we still have 7 GP to have some fun," Alonso tweeted.