Massa: 2016 Brazilian GP car “is mine” despite Williams F1 return

Felipe Massa has confirmed that he will get to keep the Williams chassis he drove in the 2016 Brazilian GP, despite his return to the team for F1 2017.

Massa: 2016 Brazilian GP car “is mine” despite Williams F1 return
Felipe Massa, Williams FW38
Felipe Massa, Williams, waves to his home fans after retiring from the race
Claire Williams, Deputy Team Principal, Williams, and the team say a fond goodbye to Felipe Massa, Williams, after his final race for the team and in F1
Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes
The team say a fond goodbye to Felipe Massa, Williams, after his final race for the team and in F1
Valtteri Bottas, Williams, and the team say a fond goodbye to Felipe Massa, Williams, after his final race for the team and in F1
Valtteri Bottas, Williams FW38, Felipe Massa, Williams FW38

Williams promised he could keep the chassis as a retirement gift, but that was before the sequence of events unfolded that led to him re-signing for a likely final season this year.

Despite this, Massa is adamant that keeping that car is part of his new deal.

“It’s mine, it’s mine,” said Massa when asked if he gets to keep the car he drove at Interlagos. “I saw the car in the factory two days ago, it’s got my name on the side.

“What happened in the last two races – especially in Brazil – I had an amazing feeling. It was the perfect stopping feeling. And then everything changed, and my heart was pushing me to carry on. I followed that.

“It was a little surprise when Claire [Williams] called me to ask if I’d stop my retirement, but definitely I’m ready and motivated. For sure, I was not retiring from racing, and I was looking at a different category, but then everything changed – and I still feel not so old, and ready to come back again.”

Another change of plan

Massa said he had planned to “enjoy” Miami’s Race Of Champions this weekend by visiting the city’s many restaurants, but has now had to retune his plans and return to a strict fitness regime ahead of his F1 comeback.

“I’m back training every day in Miami,” he added, and said he was looking forward to the new challenge of a fresh ruleset. “Everything has changed with the rules, so it’ll be a completely new car.

“The way of driving, we just have to learn in these eight days of testing. I’m ready to help pass all my experience to the team to be as competitive as they can.”

He also sent his best wishes to his former teammate Valtteri Bottas, who vacates his Williams seat to replace Nico Rosberg at Mercedes.

“I really hope the best for Valtteri, now he has the opportunity to go to Mercedes,” said Massa. “It’s the team that won the last three championships, and I’m sure they’re going to be competitive again.

“It was a big surprise when Nico decided to stop, and I’m only back in F1 because of this.”

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