Williams driver Felipe Massa is confident that Fernando Alonso won’t walk out of McLaren during the 2017 season.
“I think the first thing to understand is that he has a contract,” he told the Brazilian broadcaster Sportv this week.
“If he leaves now, he’ll be stuck until next year, and for what?
“He has a huge contract, so he will stay there and fulfil it – although it’s true that anything can happen.
“If he’s thinking of moving to a competitive team, that’s not for this year. Stop in the middle? I don’t think so, but as I said, nothing is impossible.”
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Massa’s views contrast with those of Mark Webber. The Australian warned this week that Alonso’s frustration with the situation at McLaren could see the Spaniard quit the team.
Alonso will be a free agent when his contract expires at the end of 2017. It seems unlikely he’ll recommit to McLaren unless significant improvements are made.
Massa himself is just three months older than Alonso. He had expected to watch the 2017 season from the sidelines after deciding to retire at the end of last year.
But with Valtteri Bottas moving to Mercedes, and the new 2017-specification Williams looking competitive, the veteran driver was tempted back for another season working alongside rookie driver Lance Stroll. On his return from Formula 1’s shortest-ever retirement, Massa finished in sixth place in Melbourne.
“The result was just great. I was so happy with the whole race,” he said afterwards.
“We managed to beat the teams behind us in the right way. This is something we can really think about in terms of working towards the world championship.
“I’m really happy with the result,’ he added. “Thanks to the whole team. Not bad for an old boy!”
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