Felipe Massa Has 'No Reason' to Stop His 15-Year-Long Formula One Career
The 36-year old has started 260 grand prix races since 2002.
Williams Formula One driver Felipe Massa sees "no reason" to stop after 2017, his 15th year in the sport. The former world champion reportedly feels that he is still improving as a professional and is in good shape to continue on after this season, according to a report from Motorsport.com. If his contract is picked up once again in 2018, Massa believes he can be competitive at this top level of motorsport, potentially accompanying young driver Lance Stroll for next year's Williams team.
Massa initially retired from the sport at the beginning of 2016 before returning once ex-Williams driver Valtteri Bottas signed with Mercedes. This decision kept him going for his fifth season with Williams, one that could push his career forward if he proves himself in the remainder of the year.
"I’m really in good shape, the way I’m driving, the way I understand the car and everything. I have no reason not to stay in F1, but we’ll see what’s going to happen."
Massa has been praised by Williams officials for his ability at 36-years old with chief technical Paddy Lowe. “Felipe is world champion material, we saw that from the season he was briefly world champion ," Lowe said." He is clearly very talented and it’s a great pleasure to work with him and find out how he works."
His role as a mentor to 19-year old Stroll is viewed as especially valuable, showing him what's what when it comes to being a newcomer to the sport.
“He’s a fantastic guy to work with: enthusiastic, friendly, very supportive of Lance and the learning that Lance needs to go through. He’s fun to work with and a very stable and dependable guy to have on the other side of the garage. I think if we could give Felipe the right car, he could go and get the job done.”
Finally, Massa's return to F1 has helped him take on a more relaxed approach to competition, allowing for a more natural performance.
"I’m racing in a much more relaxed way and I’m happy with what I do in the car,” said Massa. “Unfortunately, I was a little bit unlucky in a few races, but I’m enjoying it. Not thinking about some other things that are sometimes inside your job just makes you more relaxed, doing what I like to do, enjoying it and no pressure.”