SOCHI, RUSSIA (AFP) - Felipe Massa on Thursday described last weekend's tragic Japanese Grand Prix, in which Jules Bianchi suffered life-threatening injuries, as "the worst race of my life".
As he and other drivers reacted to the crash, in which Frenchman Bianchi of Marussia collided with a recovery vehicle, Brazilian Massa - who survived terrible head injuries in an accident in Hungary in 2009 - revealed his emotions.
Speaking at an official pre-event news conference ahead of this weekend's inaugural Russian Grand Prix, the Williams driver said he wanted to race "and do his best for (Bianchi), and for his family".
Massa, 33, a veteran of 206 Grands Prix, said: "For me, it was the worst race of my life... A really bad race, worse than the race of my accident that I can't remember. The worst of my life.
"And it is so difficult to be every day thinking about him, all the time, of Jules. It was a very difficult weekend for all of us. Maybe tomorrow, we are working again and will have something else to think about and - you can put that inside your brain."
Like former Ferrari team-mate Fernando Alonso, Massa made clear he wanted to support Bianchi by racing for him - a feeling shared by the drivers and teams in Sochi.
Spaniard Alonso said: "I have huge respect for our work, but when there are big accidents of this type.... It will be a tough weekend and right now, we are here and it is emotionally very difficult. "I am ready to race, and to race for him, and to be as professional as we can be and, at this moment, our minds are with him."
A Ferrari academy graduate, Bianchi remained in a "critical but stable" condition in hospital in Japan following surgery to treat severe head injuries.