Williams driver Felipe Massa has hinted that he will continue in F1 into 2018, less than a year after originally announcing his retirement from the sport.
The 36-year old Brazilian driver, who took 11 victories for Ferrari in an 8-year stint for the Scuderia before switching to Williams in 2014, had originally announced his intention to retire at the end of the 2016 season at last year’s Italian GP. However, the chain of events following Nico Rosberg’s shock retirement, which saw Valtteri Bottas move from Williams to Mercedes, opened the door for Massa to return to Williams as the experienced partner to 18-year old rookie Lance Stroll.
In an interview with formula1.com, the Brazilian commented ‘Maybe, yes [there is chance of racing in 2018]”, adding that he would be happy to stay on if ‘a team can give me a competitive car’. If last weekend’s result in Baku was anything to go by, where Williams recorded their first podium of the season with Stroll taking 3rd, despite Massa retiring with a rear damper failure, then it could well be one more season with Williams for Massa in 2018.
Maybe, yes [there is a chance of racing in 2018]. I mentioned that some weeks ago, yes. 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’! So I don’t see any point not carrying on.
Focusing on the current season, Massa exoressed some frustration with his run of results recently – despite showing consistently impressive pace in the FW40, Massa has failed to finish his last two races – the mechanical failure in Baku following a first lap accident with Carlos Sainz in Canada that was no fault of Massa’s – leaving the Brazilian 10th in the driver’s standings on just 20 points. Felipe hopes that this run of poor luck will come to an end, though, commenting that so far ‘that is a bit too much bad luck’.
My target is to finish seventh. Right behind the three front-running teams’ drivers. It will be tough, though had I finished in all the races that didn’t go well for me in the position I was supposed to finish, I would be in a big fight for that position.
Felipe will be therefore hoping for a good result next weekend in Austria, at the track where took his, and Williams’, last pole position back in 2014.