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Home > Sports > Formula One > Reuters > Report

Massa revives Senna memories with home victory

October 23, 2006 08:19 IST

Ferrari's Felipe Massa brought back golden memories of Ayrton Senna on Sunday in becoming the first Brazilian Formula One driver to win at home since the late champion in 1993.

"It's just a dream come true. You see all the people bringing the flags, screaming your name and they are really jumping and dancing," Massa said after what he recognised as the best day of his life.

"I think it's just a dream come true. I always dreamed of having this day in my life and I got it.

"It's really amazing to be here, winning my home Grand Prix, starting from pole position," he added. "I have to say it was the easiest race in my life because I had such an incredible car, I could control the pace from the beginning to the end."

Under normal circumstances, Massa would have been expected to play the role of sidekick to team mate Michael Schumacher but fate decreed otherwise.

The German, in the last race of an extraordinary career, qualified 10th on the grid after a fuel pressure problem on Saturday.

A puncture while he was fighting Italian Giancarlo Fisichella for fifth place then sent Schumacher to the back of the field and even one last great fightback could not lift the seven-times champion higher than fourth.

The day was Massa's and he celebrated Senna-style, brandishing a Brazilian flag collected from the crowd on his slowing down lap.

When I took the flag I remembered about Ayrton, and I remembered not so much the Brazilian Grand Prix when he took the flag but the time he did it at Monaco," Massa said. "I always remember that moment.

"I stopped straightaway in the first corner to find a flag and then I saw this guy running quickly and I took the flag and I think also he was going to jump in the car, it was really funny and very nice," Massa said.

The 25-year-old recalled how he had watched Senna at Interlagos, like most Brazilians following a national idol.

"I think everybody watched that race. It was amazing," said Massa.

"I was just 12 years old then. I was at home, not at the track, but I remember it was amazing to see Senna winning the Brazilian Grand Prix and then the people running on the track after the race.

"And I saw the same today so it was just very nice."

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