Felipe Massa believes his new Ferrari contract will finally give him the chance he needs to become a Formula One world champion.
The Brazilian's future at the Maranello team has been subject to great speculation all season, amid suggestions that his place could be under threat from Fernando Alonso.
But Ferrari brought a swift end to those rumours on Tuesday when their announced they had extended Massa's deal until the end of 2010 - adding two further years to his contract.
"I'm proud," Massa said at a press conference in Sao Paulo, ahead of this weekend's Brazilian Grand Prix.
"It's important for me and for F1 in Brazil. Now I can really chase the dream I've had since I was a kid: to become world champion."
Ferrari spokesman Luca Colajanni added that the team announced Massa's new deal as a way of bringing an end to the rumours about his future.
"We've decided it was the right time to kill off any speculation: we believe in Felipe and this is the demonstration," he said.
"It's true he is out of the championship fight, but it's not just his fault but everyone's. And in two years with us he's won five races and got eight pole positions."