Felipe Massa is confident a strong return to form will help him put the ‘team orders’ controversy of last year behind him.
In the midst of a difficult season, the Brazilian was ordered by Ferrari last year to give up the lead in Hockenheim to his teammate Fernando Alonso.
The surrender particularly stung many proud Brazilians, who were highly critical not just of the famous Italian team but also 29-year-old Massa himself.
“People do remember something as strong as that,” Massa admitted during an interview with O Estado de S.Paulo newspaper.
“A victory is much easier to forget than that. But it’s not something that sticks in my head or stops me from fighting to win as many races as possible or fighting for the championship,” he insisted.
Undoubtable, however, is that the saga hurt Massa’s reputation just two years after so nearly winning the 2008 title, and then recovering from a near-fatal crash a year later.
“Undoubtedly,” Massa agrees. “(But) good results always make people change their minds between cheering for you or being opposed to you.
“Even with everything that happened, I know I’m still supported, especially in my country.
“Going to restaurants, on the street in Brazil, of course nobody congratulated me but they said things like ‘keep strong, head up’ and this helped me a lot,” he admitted.