Tragic Japanese GP Worst Race of my Life: Felipe Massa

Brazilian driver Felipe Massa, who survived terrible head injuries in an accident in Hungary in 2009 - revealed his emotions after Jules Bianchi suffered life-threatening injuries in the Japanese Grand Prix.

Updated: October 09, 2014 19:58 IST
  • Total Shares
Felipe Massa Japan GP
The Japanese GP tragedy reopened old wounds for Massa.

© AP

Felipe Massa on Thursday described last weekend's tragic Japanese Grand Prix, in which Jules Bianchi suffered life-threatening injuries, as "the worst race of my life".

As he and other drivers reacted to the crash, in which Frenchman Bianchi of Marussia collided with a recovery vehicle, Brazilian Massa - who survived terrible head injuries in an accident in Hungary in 2009 - revealed his emotions.

Speaking at an official pre-event news conference ahead of this weekend's inaugural Russian Grand Prix, the Williams driver said he wanted to race "and do his best for him, and for his family".

Massa, 33, a veteran of 206 Grands Prix, said: "For me, it was the worst race of my life... A really bad race, worse than the race of my accident that I can't remember. The worst of my life.

"And it is so difficult to be every day thinking about him, all the time, of Jules. It was a very difficult weekend for all of us. Maybe tomorrow, we are working again and will have something to think about and - you can put that inside your brain."

Like former Ferrari team-mate Fernando Alonso, Massa made clear he wanted to support Bianchi by racing for him - a feeling shared by the drivers and teams as they assembled in the sunny Sochi paddock where Bianchi's friend and compatriot Jean-Eric Vergne was distributing stickers declaring 'Tous Avec Jules'.

Spaniard Alonso said: "I have huge respect for our work, but when there are big accidents of this type.... It will be a tough weekend and right now, we are here and it is emotionally very difficult.

"I am ready to race, and to race for him, and to be as professional as we can be and, at this moment, our minds are with him."

Bianchi remained in a 'critical but stable' condition in hospital in Japan following surgery to treat severe head injuries.

A Ferrari academy graduate, Bianchi was close to the team and well known by all the competing F1 drivers, but particularly all at the Ferrari team.

"It is hard to say in words and a shocking moment for everyone, and for myself," said German Adrian Sutil, who witnessed Bianchi's accident, having crashed at the same place in his Sauber car a few minutes earlier.

"We just have to pray now - and to hope, that is all awe can do... Here in Russia, there is a grey cloud over us. We will try to be professional enough to focus on a race weekend again, but it still affects everyone."

Russian rookie Daniil Kvyat, 20, who will switch from Toro Rosso to Red Bull next season, said his pride in taking part in his home event was overshadowed. "I really wish for him to recover - it is the only thing that matters," he said. "I am thinking of him very often."

Briton Jenson Button, 34, a veteran of 262 races, said: "It is a horrible feeling to know what one of your fellow-drivers went through and is going through - most important is that we wish him well and our thoughts are with him."

Defending four-time champion German Sebastian Vettel, who has announced he will leave Red Bull next season, summed up his feelings, saying: "I think, first of all, it was an extremely difficult race for all of us.

"It was the most difficult to digest, so far... I think the difficult conditions, giving a very small margin for error, and for Jules, it was too small - and the circumstances led to a catastrophe."

For the latest Sports news , like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter and get the NDTV Cricket app for Android or iOS

Leave a comment