Despite a first corner incident which saw him eliminated early in the season-opening Australian Grand Prix, Felipe Massa has kicked off the next phase of his Formula 1 career with two thumbs up and declaring that his “days as a servant are over”.
Massa’s first thumbs up is for the end of the Ferrari era, where despite intense highs and the almost title-winning 2008 season, the 32-year-old also experienced some deep lows.
Asked by correspondent Nicola Pohl to describe what four years as Fernando Alonso’s water-carrier felt like, he answered: “I’ll tell you one thing. The time as a servant is over! Williams wants me to take a leadership role in the team.
“In a team you sometimes have to do things that you don’t understand in the moment. But you’re not a racing driver if you cannot win,” Massa insisted.
The other thumbs up is for his move to Williams, where despite the British team finishing the 2013 season deeply uncompetitive, he has found himself powered by the plum Mercedes engine.
“I am happy, that’s true,” the Brazilian, who lost his Ferrari seat after eight years to Kimi Raikkonen, told the German newspaper Bild. “I’m glad I went this way. It could have been a stroke of luck. The car feels good.”
“The fact that Williams changed to the Mercedes engines is the first step to success,” he insisted. “I feel that the car is strong and I’m hungry to finally win again.”
Reflecting on his very short afternoon’s work in Melbourne, Massa said, “I’m obviously very disappointed as I had the sort of car capable of challenging for a podium today, but the incident in the first corner ruined my race.”
“I tried to have a calm start and not take any risks, but was hit from behind after Kobayashi braked too late and there was nothing I could do to avoid being taken out of the race.”
“It’s a shame but there are a lot of positive things that the team can take from this weekend in terms of pace and reliability, so I’m just thinking about the next race and having a strong result there,” concluded the Brazilian. (GMM)