Felipe Massa on staying in top form, being a father, and his proudest moment to date

Felipe Massa on staying in top form, being a father, and his proudest moment to date

Right on track

Text: Amelia Chia

Image: Williams Martini Racing Formula One Team

After coming out of retirement at the beginning of this year, Felipe Massa is back on the track with Williams. We catch up with him ahead of the F1 Singapore Grand Prix

How does it feel to be back on the track after you had originally planned for retirement?
I had only announced back then that I was going to retire, but I didn't in the end — so I guess that didn't change many things. I'm happy because I'm still doing what I love. 

Any thoughts or expectations on the upcoming night race in Singapore?
I always look forward to a good race. Singapore is a fantastic place; it's very humid and the track is very difficult, but it never fails to put on a great show for the people. 

Speaking of this humidity — love it or hate it?
It's physically difficult. It's a challenge for all the drivers, but I think challenge is interesting. 

Felipe Massa Formula 1

Do you have any pre-race rituals?
I normally take about 20 to 30 minutes before the race to reflect and concentrate, but no, nothing out of the ordinary.

How do you ensure you stay in top form for the season?
I train hard, follow a strict diet, and work hard because you can't be part of the Formula 1 team otherwise.

What does the diet involve?
I need to eat healthy — like salads and vegetables and not so much fried food. I miss French fries and dessert (laughs).

Best thing to do after a race?
Enjoying a meal with my family or friends in a nice restaurant, especially if I'm celebrating a good race. Then a few days at home to recharge my batteries.

What does your family mean to you?
They're very important to me. I'm very close to my family, and I sometimes bring them along with me to my races. My son is seven years old, he's always supporting me and enjoys being with me — he loves sports as well, so we play football or tennis together.

What kind of father do you think you are?
We share a close relationship, but I also try and teach him the right things, and to respect people around him. It's difficult to praise yourself, but I think I'm a great dad.

Felipe Masa Formula 1

Sounds or noises you love?
I love the noise on the race track, and the smell of the race track like the fuel and rubber — those sounds and scents are always in my mind. When I'm not on the track, I love music. It could be anything from pop to Brazilian tunes.

Your proudest moment to date?
When I won the Formula 1 race in Brazil in front of my people in 2008; that was a dream come true. The other moment was when my son was born.

What can you do 24/7?
I think about my job 24/7. Even when it's my day off, I do think of something related to racing — whether it's my car, the setup, or the team. 

Catch Felipe Massa at the F1 Singapore Grand Prix this weekend. More information and tickets here.