Felipe Massa on Thursday insisted he is not Ferrari’s number two driver, confirming he is aiming for victory this weekend in Hungary.
Since Hockenheim, where the Brazilian obeyed a team order to let teammate Fernando Alonso win, Brazilian cartoonists have depicted Massa as a puppet.
“People will see him now as a ‘yes man’ who bends to the will of the company,” David Coulthard wrote in his latest Telegraph column.
“And maybe they are right. Team player or stooge? The line is thin.”
Mercedes’ Norbert Haug said at a pre-race press conference in Hungary that the application of a driver hierarchy can affect motivation.
“If you say ‘you are number two’ … it’s a complex issue,” said the German.
“If the drivers are not fully motivated you will not achieve anything. That needs to be kept in mind,” added Haug.
Massa told reporters at the Hungaroring that he is aiming to win this weekend’s race, where last year he suffered life-threatening injuries in a qualifying crash.
“The time I have to say I am the number two driver, I will not race anymore,” he pledged.
Earlier, he arrived at the Budapest venue with Ferrari team boss Stefano Domenicali.
© RIF | GMM