Ferrari confirms Massa as test driver

Ferrari has announced that that it has signed Brazilian driver Felipe Massa as an official test driver for 2003 in place of departing compatriot Luciano Burti

Ferrari confirms Massa as test driver

The 21-year-old has long been touted to land a testing role with the world champions but after being beaten by Ralph Firman to a drive with Jordan in the past week, the option to become a reserve driver for Ferrari became his most viable opportunity.

Massa has long been linked to Ferrari, and made his debut using Petronas-badged Ferrari engines for Sauber last year. The driver was tipped to land a testing role with Ferrari as long ago as last November when he was replaced by Heinz-Harald Frentzen, but rumours much earlier in the season had indicated that Massa was being groomed as a potential future star for the Italian marque.

Massa will work alongside Luca Badoer in Ferrari's test team, but with his recent race experience could be used as a reserve driver should either Michael Schumacher or Rubens Barrichello be forced to miss a grand prix.

Massa's first public appearance for the squad will come at the launch of the marque's 2003 car in Maranello tomorrow (Friday).



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