When Felipe Massa signed for Ferrari he was probably looking forward to getting his company car as much as donning the famous red overalls and racing for one of the most evocative teams in motorsport.
So when bosses told him for 2008 he'd be flying the company flag by driving a customised version of one of its most talked about products he was probably rubbing his hands with glee. A F599 with a juicy power upgrade would have done nicely. Or perhaps a 430 Scuderia painted in the colours of the Brazilian flag.
However Ferrari's owners Fiat had other ideas and have instead presented him with a specially personalised Fiat 500. Aware that the standard 1.4-litre engine's 100bhp might not be enough to satisfy a Formula 1 driver they did at least send the car to in-house tuning experts Fiat Powertrain Racing for a bit of an upgrade. And with 120bhp the 500 should be nippy enough to deal with the tight and twisty Monaco streets where he and other F1 drivers are wont to hang out.
And who knows, if he wins a few races perhaps they'll upgrade him to the turbocharged Abarth SS due later in the year. Massa's car also gains red brake callipers and the driver's signature embossed in the metal sill plates, for that essential custom feel. And while a supermini might seem a little underwhelming for an F1 driver it's safe to say this probably isn't the only car in Massa's garage. He's done better than Schumacher too - when product placement duty called he ended up with a Scudo van.