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That was also the last year Ferrari won the constructors’ title. To now win it back, the team needs Massa to steadily harvest points with Alonso.

If, later this season, Ferrari also finds itself having to choose between which of those two to support in a fight for the driver’s title, then that would be a pleasant problem to have. Smart money would be on Alonso.

But, for now, it’s simply heartwarming to see Massa again performing well, instead of wondering whether he was becoming a dead weight Ferrari should jettison.

He’s been through a lot. But, clearly, he still has a lot to give.

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John Leicester is an international sports columnist for The Associated Press. Write to him at jleicester(at)ap.org or follow him at http://twitter.com/johnleicester