After looking like the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix of 2016 would be his last race in Formula 1 before retirement, Felipe Massa continues in the Williams Martini Racing team for another year after Valtteri Bottas made the switch to the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team.
Williams’ desire to retain an experienced driver in the team alongside rookie Lance Stroll saw the Brazilian stay on for what will be his fifteenth season of racing in the premier category of single seater racing, with this weekend’s Australian Grand Prix set to be his 251st start of his career.
Massa is ready for the challenge ahead in the season opener, though he enjoys the fact the race is held at the Albert Park track, even if it is not the easiest track due to half it being run on normal streets.
“Australia is a fantastic place to start the season, not only because it’s a beautiful country, but also because the people are so nice,” said Massa. “So it’s always a big pleasure to go to Australia. It really is the perfect place to get started.
“It’s quite a tricky track though. It’s half racetrack, half street circuit, so it’s definitely not easy. It’s good to have a difficult challenge at the start of the season though. I’m just really looking forward to getting started!
“It’s always a very important race because it’s the first time all of the teams will be together and racing for real.”