After calling it quits in Formula 1 twice, the former Ferrari driver Felipe Massa is making another comeback to the grid. This time, the Brazilian will be driving in the all-electric single-seater race series Formula E.
Massa signed a three-year deal with the Formula E team Venturi, which is co-owned by Hollywood star Leonardo Di Caprio. Although it wasn’t made clear who he will be replacing, it was announced that his duties with the team, as of now, will be testing the Formula E’s Gen2 race car by the end of May 2018.
The Brazilian joins the long list of ex-Formula 1 stars to make the jump to the electric race series, such as Bruno Senna, Jacques Villeneuve, Jean-Eric Vergne, Jerome D'Ambrosio, Kamui Kobayashi, Lucas di Grassi, Nelson Piquet Jr, Nick Heidfeld, and Sebastian Buemi.
During his time in Formula 1, Felipe Massa drove for Sauber, Scuderia-Ferrari, and Williams. He came close to becoming the driver’s world champion in 2008 but was defeated by Lewis Hamilton at the last race of the season by one point.
The Brazilian also had to sit out the 2009 season after he was struck by suspension spring that had fallen from Ruben Barrichello’s Brawn race car that left him crashing to the wall unconscious. He made his full return in 2010 but never saw the same success until his departure from Scuderia Ferrari in 2014. Massa would then sign with Williams, replacing Pastor Maldonaldo.
In 2016, Massa announced that he will retire from F1. But his teammate Valtteri Bottas went to Mercedes, Williams was left with no choice but to ask Massa to return for a year. He last drove for Williams during the 2017 Brazilian Grand Prix. His illustrious F1 career saw 269 race starts, 41 podiums, 11 wins.
Will he be able to be a champion in Formula E? His experience will surely give him the upper hand but with the current talent on the grid, a championship might be tough to reach.
Steel wouldn’t let aluminum take its position as the top player in the automotive industry.
This timing is indeed perfect for a potential partnership.
Quite a sad exhibit but hey, at least now we know.