Massa happy to put Williams behind him

Felipe Massa says that the Williams team’s current focus on revenue is costing it too much in terms of on-track performance.

Massa brought down the shutters on his Formula 1 career at the end of 2017. He says that he doesn’t regret stepping down when he did.

“I’m happy to have made my decision last year,” he told last week. “I chose the right time and now I’m enjoying my life.”

The former Sauber and Ferrari driver originally quit the sport at the end of 2016 after three years at Williams. However the sudden departure of Valtteri Bottas saw Massa unexpectedly recalled to active service for a fourth season at Grove.

Massa was happy to have had that surprise extra season in the sport. “All I can say is that I came out with my head held high,” he said.

And given the dismal start to the 2018 season for Williams, Massa is probably now well out of it. His former team mate Lance Stroll has finished in 14th place in all three of the races so far.

Meanwhile the man who replaced Massa in the race seat, Sergey Sirotkin, has managed no better than 15th. Even so, the Brazilian insisted that he wished nothing but the best for everyone at Williams.

  • Williams grew revenue and profits in 2017, but all eyes are on Liberty

“I have a good relationship with everyone at Grove,” he said. “I hope that the best for the team comes out as soon as possible.”

However he also suggested that the team’s current slump in form was partly self-inflicted. The appointment of Sirotkin appeared motivated more by financial concerns than by the need to succeed on track.

“It’s true that the team was suffering from the financial situation,” he said. “And I think they made decisions for 2018 putting money first.”

“I hope Williams can recover,” he added.

In the meantime, Massa is taking pleasure in seeing a resurgence in form for his old team Ferrari, which has taken two wins already in 2018.

“I am happy that Ferrari has started well,” he said. “This makes me happy because I’ve always been a Ferrari fan.

“What we saw in the first races was great for the sport, because we did not see just one team winning.

“To tell you the truth I didn’t expect it,” he added. “I expected Mercedes to be far ahead of Ferrari. I think even Red Bull could be fighting them.”

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