(Reuters) - Felipe Massa feared his Formula One career was finished last season and consulted a sports psychologist to help him overcome his problems at Ferrari.
The Brazilian told the BBC, in an interview at his team’s winter ‘Wrooom’ media event in the Italian Dolomites, that he had considered stopping.
“Yeah. I thought about so many things. I thought maybe I was finished. I thought about not staying in Ferrari. I did not know what would happen. So many things were inside my brain,” he said.
”I talked to everyone,“ added the 2008 championship runner-up who came back from a near-fatal head injury suffered in 2009. ”But I also did work with a professional psychologist, sporting psychologist.
“That was just the beginning. After that I was able to change the direction to think, the direction to work and I think it was like training I did. But also I think my family helps, definitely 100 percent.”
Massa had an abject first half of last season, scoring just 23 points by the half-way point compared to team mate Fernando Alonso’s 154.
The Brazilian had a far better second half, ending with a final tally of 122 points and securing a one-year extension after Ferrari had considered replacing him.
Massa said Alonso, a double champion, was the toughest team mate he had ever had including Germany’s seven times world champion Michael Schumacher.
“I think I had more difficult times with Fernando, so I would say Fernando was the strongest team mate for me,” he explained.
“But you learn with everybody. I learnt a lot with Michael, with Kimi (Raikkonen in 2007-9) and Fernando.”
Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Alison Wildey