Felipe Massa admits he was delighted to get the call from Claire Williams to ask him to return for a fourth consecutive season with the Williams Martini Racing squad, feeling that he was not quite ready to hang up his racing boots.
The Brazilian had announced his retirement from Formula 1 at the Italian Grand Prix but to allow Valtteri Bottas to join the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team, Williams requested Massa to delay his retirement, and the veteran admits he has a lot of love for the Grove-based team.
“I can’t believe we’re back racing again already,” said Massa. “It’s amazing to have another year with the team – after my very short retirement!
“I always knew I wouldn’t stop racing and I was delighted to get the opportunity to return with Williams, it’s the one team I feel a lot of love for.”
The Brazilian believes that his new team-mate for 2017, eighteen-year-old Lance Stroll, will learn how to drive in Formula 1 quickly, and Massa admits he would be happy to share his own knowledge with the Canadian, and expects them to have a good working relationship.
“I have a new team mate this year in Lance and I’m confident he will use his youth to his advantage and learn quickly,” said Massa. “Having raced in F1 for many years I will be happy to share my experience with him and I know we will work well together which will only be a good thing for the team as a whole.
“I’m looking forward to racing the FW40. 40 years in racing is a significant and special milestone for Williams so I really hope we can make this year a great one. Everything is reset with the new rules this year so it’s important we are ready for anything.”