Felipe Massa shares conversation with Michael Schumacher about Ayrton Senna ‘snub’

Felipe Massa and Michael Schumacher were team-mates at Ferrari in 2006, ahead of the first time that Schumacher retired from F1.

Ex-Formula 1 driver Felipe Massa has shared a fascinating story about how he told Michael Schumacher that Ayrton Senna once “refused to sign an autograph” for the Brazilian as a child, something he struggles “to accept”.

Massa was partnered with the seven-time World Champion in 2006 at Ferrari, before Schumacher left the sport until 2010.

Massa remained at the Maranello-based team until the end of 2013, before moving to Williams.

The Brazilian enjoyed a great career in F1 and came agonisingly close to the 2008 world title, which was won by Lewis Hamilton.

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Massa has recently revealed, though, that he is exploring legal options to have the result from the Singapore Grand Prix that year removed, with the race having been the home of ‘crashgate’.

For many like Hamilton and Schumacher, Senna is a hero, whilst the same seemingly can’t be said for Massa.

Massa’s first interaction with Senna was a very negative one, with the three-time World Champion having refused to sign an autograph for him, something he’ll never forget.

“When I was a kid, Senna unfortunately refused to sign an autograph for me,” Massa told Motorsport.com.

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“It was very difficult for me to accept, because I was a child with a piece of paper in my hand, with two or three others who were with me. I didn’t get Senna’s autograph, and that’s something I’ve never forgotten.

“I got into F1, I managed to be an F1 driver, I managed to race for big teams like Ferrari, and there are still a lot of people asking me for autographs. I could never say no to a kid, because I always remembered that moment.

“Once, in Barcelona, I and some other Ferrari people were having dinner with Schumacher in a very small town near Montmeló.

“I was with Michael, Jean Todt and Nicolas Todt. Then, when we came out of the restaurant, Schumacher got into the car and the whole town was there to ask him for an autograph. He got into the car, I got into the car. He was still driving.

“He was waiting for everybody to get into the car so we could leave. And around the car, a lot of people were waiting and knocking on the window asking for autographs, and he didn’t care.

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“There was a little boy saying ‘for God’s sake, give me an autograph, do something, open the window’. That little boy was driving me crazy. I said to myself, ‘There’s no way he’s not going to open the window. I elbowed [Schumacher] and said, ‘Michael, for God’s sake, at least do it for the little boy, please!’ He looked at it, signed the little boy’s autograph, obviously signed about ten more, and then we left.

“I then told him the story of what had happened to me with Senna, and he enjoyed hearing it. He told me I was right. That’s typical of him: no emotions. And we Brazilians have a lot of emotions.

“Anyway, it’s an interesting story that happened with Michael and me and it’s worth telling. He was a closed person, really a closed German; you had to get to know him, to understand him, so that once he relaxed he really showed his personality.”