Jerez, Wednesday: Formula One’s almost-champion Felipe Massa has sparked outrage in the animal rights community today with remarks on how the F1 show should be improved in years to come.

Disgraceful: Ferrari driver Felipe Massa
Disgraceful: Ferrari driver Felipe Massa

With the Formula One Team’s Association about to announce its vision for the future of F1 in Geneva, Massa has pre-empted FOTA’s announcement with his own declarations on the direction the sport should be taking. Radical alterations to the structure of the race weekend and mid-season testing for championship points were among the Brazilian’s suggestions, but most people have picked up on his ideas for improving the drama towards the end of a Grand Prix.

“In the last 15 laps nobody cares about the race anymore,” the Ferrari driver told journalists at the Jerez circuit, where he is currently testing his team’s 2009 car. “Everyone knows what the finishing order is going to be, so they just switch off. So we need to reintroduce some action towards the end of the race.

“What I’m thinking is that, when we have done about 80 percent of the race distance, the race director should release a load of animals onto the circuit. So the drivers have to avoid the animals and make it to the end of the race.

“We could use a different animal depending on the country we’re in. You know, camels in Bahrain, giant pandas in China – if we ever go back to the USA, how about a herd of buffalo? Imagine getting one of those caught in your radiator!”

Massa’s comments have predictably ignited controversy in the animal rights community. “This is disgraceful,” one activist said, holding a shovel and standing near a church. “These are endangered species Massa is talking about.” One assumes he was referring to the animals, rather than Formula One teams.

However, Reginald Scrotum, Conservative MP for the Cotswold constituency of Bigotry & Shouting, expressed his support for the plans: “Sounds like a bloody good idea. After the race, the local hunt can ride on with their horses and pick off the animals the drivers didn’t get! Tally ho!”