Felipe Massa has once again confirmed that he is keen to remain in Formula 1 beyond 2017, he is happy with his driving, well established at Williams and enjoying his racing.
Speaking to the official F1 website Massa said, “Things are going well. I feel very competitive, as I like the car that I am driving. I love the new rules. For my driving style everything works very well – the only thing that has to be sorted out is the ‘luck issue’! (Laughs) So I don’t see any point not carrying on.”
Massa ‘retired’ at the end of last season, however with Nico Rosberg suddenly retiring and Valtteri Bottas signed by Mercedes to replace him, the Brazilian was easily persuaded back to Williams for another season.
“When I decided to retire I had no expectations to carry on – but when everything changed with Nico’s (Rosberg) decision my mind also changed completely: now I am back in business, back to work and back to preparing myself in the best possible way.”
“I am pretty happy with how I am driving the car – but I am not happy for the unlucky races that I had so far. Two punctures – one in Russia and one in Barcelona! Imagine that. Then the issue in Canada where a car pushed me out in corner three of the first lap. That is a bit too much bad luck I would say.”
“But as I said, I am so happy with how I am driving, with the performance that I can show. I understand the car in a very good way. So from this side there is nothing to complain about – just the thing with the luck has to be sorted out!”
“Having a team that I believe is correct for me. A team that can give me a competitive car – that can make me feel good. Then I stay on. I don’t want to stay not being happy and not being competitive.”
One of the main reasons Williams pursued Massa after Bottas’ departure, was the fact that they needed an experienced driver to partner 18 year old rookie Lance Stroll in 2017.
Massa’s experienced was an important consideration and apparently a condition, to have an experienced teammate to tap into, of Stroll’s mega-buck deal with the Grove outfit.
Massa said of Stroll, “I am sure he is he taking more from me than I take from him. It is a big difference from Formula 3 to Formula 1. You need to change your driving style and your mentality. He is only eighteen. He has some good talents. He is quite aggressive in some areas. ”
Massa staying at Williams is a good fit, however the only fly-in-the-ointment may be the prospect of his former teammate Fernando Alonso joining the team.
The Spaniard has made it clear he is seeking a move away from the beleaguered McLaren-Honda team, and of late Williams has emerged as a possible destination for the double F1 world champion.
Meanwhile, Massa admits, “I am not in a hurry. I enjoy my situation race by race – and then the time will come to make the talking. I am sure it will not take long.”
Big Question: Does Felipe deserve another year in Formula 1?