On the starting grid at the 2019 24 Hours Karting, Felipe Massa enjoyed greeting the drivers, and the teams were eager to meet the president of the FIA Commission Internationale de Karting, official starter at the 34th running of the 24 Hours Karting and 2008 F1 world champion runner-up. "I met and chatted with many drivers before the start. Some asked me for photos or advice, and whenever I can I oblige them of course. That is my role. A few are dreaming of F1. Last year, I was invited to the 24 Hours Karting by the ACO in another capacity but was unable to make it, so this year I'm happy to be here. I've come to support the event, the discipline and to take part in its success."
Massa has 269 starts in Formula 1 Grand Prix with 11 wins and is currently involved in Formula e. "I don't have much experience as a race starter yet, more as a driver and competitor. Naturally, I'm interested in participating in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. So far I haven't found the right time to dedicate myself to it, and to preparing, but one day I will."
Massa has already taken the start in a few endurance races, ''just for fun, like the 12 Hours Karting in Brazil," and can certainly imagine the challenge a 24-hour race represents for competitors doing stints at the wheel of a kart, during the day and night, no matter the weather conditions. "Karting is clearly a learning ground for any driver. You learn trajectory, car set-up, the different types of tyres, lap times, when you need to be fast or consistent, about wet and dry tracks. A good karting competitor has all the skills of a professional driver."
PHOTO (Copyright - Authur Chopin, Gilbert David/ACO): LE MANS, CIRCUIT INTERNATIONAL DE KARTING, 28 SEPTEMBER 2019. Felipe Massa, the official starter at the 2019 24 Hours Karting, hopes to return to the 24 Hours of Le Mans circuit as a competitor.