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Felipe Massa

EVENT COUNTDOWN

ALBERT PARK

12-15 MARCH 2015

Felipe Massa
Born
April 25, 1981
Origin
Brazil
Team
Williams F1 Team
F1 Debut
Australia 2002
Career statistics to end 2013
Race(s)
191
Win(s)
11
Pole Position(s)
15
Fastest Lap(s)
14

Something had to give, and in the end Ferrari’s patience proved finite as they said goodbye to a man who has been a loyal servant of the Scuderia since 2006, winning 11 races in the scarlet cars and so nearly taking the 2008 title.

Felipe’s failure to provide back-up to Fernando Alonso in recent seasons – half the contribution made by a Webber at Red Bull or the two Mercedes men – finally meant Ferrari had to look elsewhere.

Will Massa’s arrival be the catalyst for a Williams revival? Compatriot Rubens Barrichello couldn’t do it for Sir Frank in 2010-11, and at nearly 33 it’s a tall order for Massa as well.

The 2013 season was a case in point: Felipe started brightly enough with fourth place in Melbourne as Alonso got on the podium; he was on the podium himself in Spain in a fine Ferrari 1-3 result.

But the going got tough after that. Massa’s best efforts in the remaining 14 rounds were two more fourth places in Monza and New Delhi; his tally of 112 points put him eighth overall and was, damningly, less than half Alonso’s score for the season.

He has gone five seasons without a pole, and two-and-a-half since his last fastest race lap: can the fire be rekindled?

“An exceptional talent and a real fighter on the race track” is the way Sir Frank sees him, and the release from number two status will certainly be a boost to Massa’s morale.

“I’m glad to be signing with another icon of the sport,” he said when the Williams news broke in mid-November.

“It is also nice to remember that some of the best Brazilian drivers raced for Williams and cemented a strong national link with the team.”

It’s precisely that kind of emotion that may motivate a man who has always, and most engagingly, worn his racing heart on his sleeve.

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