Brazilian Massa, 28, has been particularly outspoken in recent times, suggesting his 2010 Ferrari teammate Fernando Alonso knows more about crash-gate, and saying Jenson Button might blow the world championship.

Rubens Barrichello on Thursday played down suggestions his friend and countryman Felipe Massa has changed since his serious accident in July.

Brazilian Massa, 28, has been particularly outspoken in recent times, suggesting his 2010 Ferrari teammate Fernando Alonso knows more about crash-gate, and saying Jenson Button might blow the world championship.

Barrichello was asked by a British reporter if he thinks Massa's absence has changed him.

"No, I don't think he has (changed). I think he's been the same person and all my wishes, when I was at the hospital, were that he was the same guy," said the Brawn driver.

Barrichello, 37, said he believes Massa's apparent outspokenness is a combination of his sitting out races, and the media paying particular attention to his comments.

"In formula one if you're not travelling with everyone all the time and not hearing what the same people are talking about, you just get different ideas and maybe you're flying on your own ideas," he said.

"He's been out for a month and then he comes back in and talks about something and it becomes a lot more important.

"For me it's just the fact that he's been out and not living the world that we're living in," Barrichello added.

He also said Massa appears to be the same driver as before his Hungarian shunt.

"After I saw him with my own eyes and I saw that he was the same, I wished that he could drive the same way, and he went to Fiorano and did that," said Barrichello, referring to Massa's test earlier this week in a F2007 Ferrari.

"From all the people that I've spoken to and to himself, it looked like he got into the car and on the third lap he was on the pace," he added.

 

 

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