January 17, 2013 / 6:07 PM / 5 years ago

Massa feared his F1 career was over last season

(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.

Ferrari Formula One driver Felipe Massa of Brazil looks on during a news conference at the Wrooom, F1 and MotoGP Press Ski Meeting, Ducati and Ferrari's annual media gathering, in Madonna di Campiglio January 17, 2013. REUTERS/Max Rossi

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

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