Massa returns with a new 'baby' for reborn Ferrari

Brazilian wants world title after making full recovery and becoming a father

Felipe Massa looked every inch a man reborn yesterday; leaner, fitter and hungrier than ever as Ferrari unveiled the car on which he is pinning his hopes of winning the Formula One world championship he believes he was cheated out of by Renault's race-fixing in 2008.

Last July, the 28 year-old Brazilian lay in a coma in Hungary after being struck just above the left eye by a spring from Rubens Barrichello's Brawn. In the weeks that followed he had a series of operations as fears for the sight of that eye slowly receded.

None of that was evident yesterday. Bursting with enthusiasm after a recent test run in a 2008 Ferrari, Massa spoke of his feelings about coming back to the sport that nearly killed him. "This is a special moment," he said, "because last year was very difficult as I had the accident and everything else that happened. I'm very proud, very happy, and I now want to work more than ever, so I really hope this will be a very competitive car and we will be fighting for the championship." Massa, who became a father for the first time in November, added: "We have another baby that arrived today. Now we've got to make it grow."

Team principal Stefano Domenicali spoke of two new drivers, while alluding to new recruit Fernando Alonso. "Why two? Because we are talking of a new version of Felipe. He has all the assets to prove he can be very successful, that he wants to return to the pathway that destiny interrupted."

Ferrari's quest for redemption following an appalling 2009 season has not been made easier by employing two drivers with a history of on- and off-track altercations. They run a similar risk to McLaren, with two strong characters likely to take points from one another, while Michael Schumacher scores for Mercedes, and Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo admitted wryly: "I am this misdeed's author. It was me who awoke Michael's desire to come back, and honestly I never thought I'd see him in a race car that wasn't a Ferrari."

Domenicali conceded: "This season is very important for us. The last championship, for different reasons, was not very positive. But now we are dealing with this one, looking to be competitive. This is what Ferrari deserves to be. Fernando is a double world champion, and we say he will have a third one."

The Spaniard, still detested at McLaren for his divisive season with Lewis Hamilton, spoke of his own deep feelings as he joined from Renault, to whom he had returned after the McLaren debacle. "This is my first presentation with Ferrari which is emotional for me," he said. "We are ready to face the challenge and take up the responsibility of realising the maximum potential of this car. Felipe and I will be a very strong team."

Hamilton's father Anthony has announced plans to create a new academy which will bypass testing restrictions and enable rookie F1 drivers to gain mileage before making their race debuts. Last year the 19-year-old Jaime Algersuari had not driven a lap before he raced with Toro Rosso in Hungary.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
musicOfficial chart could be moved to accommodate Friday international release day
Sport
Wes Brown is sent-off
football
News
i100
Sport
Italy celebrate scoring their second try
six nations
Sport
Glenn Murray celebrates scoring against West Ham
footballWest Ham 1 Crystal Palace 3
Arts and Entertainment
Drake continues to tease ahead of the release of his new album
music
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

The Last Word: For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?

Michael Calvin's Last Word

For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?
HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower