- Williams Mercedes
- Date of birth
- Place of birth
- Sao Paulo, Brazil
Back again, by popular demand and some unexpected desperation at the Williams team, Felipe will start his 15th season in Formula One just four months after his emotional retirement and tearful farewells. The departure of Valtteri Bottas to Mercedes as replacement for champion Nico Rosberg left Williams without an experienced lead driver – and a problem that Massa was happy to solve.
The senior citizen of F1® – only two men have more races under their belts – will partner Canadian rookie Lance Stroll this year. The other veterans are Kimi Raikkonen and Fernando Alonso.
Many believed Massa’s best was behind him when he left Ferrari after eight seasons at the end of 2013, but he has bounced back with a smile with the Mercedes-powered Williams team and re-confirmed the speed and talent of earlier times.
It was the first time in his F1® career that he had not been powered by a Ferrari engine, having started with Sauber in 2002.
He relished the opportunity and finished in sixth place in the drivers’ title race in 2015 with 121 points, 15 fewer than team-mate Finn Valtteri Bottas who was fifth as Williams secured third place in the constructors’ championship.
Last year was less successful and the likeable Brazilian was overshadowed by Bottas in a disappointing year for the team. His retirement announcement was little surprise – but his comeback will still be welcomed.