Most of them came to Maranello with their families, and had a little surprise in store. Alongside Di Montezemolo and Ferrari's team principal Stefano Domenicali, they were “to see three rather special Father Christmases, namely Felipe Massa, Luca Badoer and Marc Gene.”
Felipe Massa was absent from the F1 team during the second half of the season, due to his head injuries in the Hunagrian Grand Prix accident. Badoer took over the F1 seat for a couple of races, while afterwards returning to his test/reserve driver role alongside Marc Gene.
Aside the fact that he actually escaped death during the Hungaroring incident – when a piece of Rubens Barrichello's car hit his helmet at over 120 mph – Massa had many to be grateful for throughout 2009. Most importantly, he became father a few weeks ago, when his wife gave birth to baby boy name Felipinho.
“What happened to me this year was unbelievable and I took so much strength from you to recover as quickly as possible. The heartfelt warmth I felt from Ferrari is something I will never ever forget as long as I live. I assure you that my determination to get back on track and to win has never been this strong!” said Massa.
As for his Christmas outfit, Massa admitted “it’s the first time I’ve dressed up as Father Christmas. It’s nice to be here with so many children. I would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone peace, health and goodwill and for those of us who work for Ferrari, obviously, my wish is that we get back to our winning ways so that we can fight for the world championship.”
As a Christmas present of his own, Massa received the opportunity to test drive a Ferrari F2007, fitted with demonstration run tires, in the upcoming few days.
“I would like to thank Ferrari for having giving me this present,” concluded Massa.