|© AP Photo/Victor R. Caivano
Felipe Massa admitted that he felt he was at the end of his career last year after he failed to produce results in the first half of the season, forcing the Brazilian to seek assistance from a sports psychologist to up his game.
The 31-year-old scored just 11 points in the first eight races while his teammate Fernando Alonso remained as a title contender throughout the campaign, indicating that he believed that his days at Ferrari were numbered.
“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," Massa was quoted saying by Reuters. "I talked to everyone. 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’s aim is now to start winning again and challenge for the championship.
"I have done it before and it's something that you don't forget how to do," he said referring to the 2008 season when he finished runner-up.
He also suggested that he won’t be the number two driver at the Italian team and considered Alonso as one of his rivals.
“I can’t imagine a team not wanting two competitive drivers,” Massa said. “We are fighting for two titles and I am sure the team will help me if it turns out that my situation was the same as the one that meant Fernando was a contender these past years.
“I remember when Kimi (Raikkonen) was my teammate and how much we helped one another from one season to the next. It’s the same with Fernando, it’s team work, while the harmony between us is a help, as it would be in any job.
“In Australia we start over from zero and it will all depend on my ability and on the way the championship pans out,” he added.