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DATE News (chronologically)
02/21/09
a1gp
Felipe Massa backs A1GP concept
Felipe Massa
2008 Formula One runner-up Felipe Massa backed the nation versus nation concept of A1GP when he watched qualifying at Kyalami today.  It was Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro’s Massa’s first visit to an A1GP event, and he praised the ideology behind the World Cup of Motorsport after watching the session first hand from the pit wall.

The 27-year-old is well known for having a strong sense of national pride, notably having won the 2006 Brazilian Grand Prix in specially designed Brazilian-colored fireproof overalls.

“The championship has a nice style,” Massa told A1GP.com. “It’s quite competitive, so I’m happy to be here getting this first experience of watching A1GP. It’s an intelligent format to have countries against countries and a good idea.”

“The nationality side of motorsport is very important. A lot of people want to see the team and want to see also the nationality of a driver. And I think that’s really, really important to have that in A1GP. In Formula 1 the drivers like to represent the countries. So this is very, very nice.”

Massa got to have a close look at the A1GP Powered by Ferrari car.

“The car looks nice and powerful. I think that’s great for the championship. It’s definitely important to have Ferrari involved in such a one-make series. It’s important for the championship to have such an important brand bringing the power.”

Not content with sitting on the pit wall for the day, he signed autographs and lapped the Kyalami circuit in A1GP’s Ferrari 599 safety car and visited many of the teams, including his compatriots at A1 Team Brazil. Sadly it didn’t bring the team luck, with Felipe Guimaraes crashing out in the final qualifying segment.

“I was talking to Emerson Fittipaldi and also trying to support the country as well so hopefully they’ll do a good job tomorrow,” he added. “I hope they can have a better day tomorrow.”

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