Felipe Massa decided to call it quits as he announced his retirement from Formula 1 (F1) last year. However, the Brazilian F1 driver decided to give it another shot as he agreed to a 1-year deal with his former team Williams Martini Racing.
Massa’s comeback is caused by the departure of his teammate Valtteri Bottas. Bottas joined Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 team to fill-in the void left by the sudden retirement of 2016 F1 champion Nico Rosberg.
Initially, Williams Martini Racing had a potentially solid driver lineup coming into 2017 with Bottas at the helm and 2016 FIA European Formula 3 Champion Lance Stroll. However, the move by Bottas left the U.K.-based team with a relatively inexperienced F1 driver in Stroll. With this, Williams Martini Racing offered Massa a 1-year deal.
Felipe has always been a much-loved member of the Williams family, and having the opportunity to work with him again is something we all look forward to. Felipe re-joining us provides stability, experience and talent to help lead us forward. He is a great asset for us,” said Williams Martini Racing Deputy Team Principal Claire Williams.
Felipe Massa spent 15 years in F1 including 1-year as a test driver for Ferrari in 2003. His best ever finish in the drivers’ championship was 2nd with Ferrari in 2008, where he lost to Lewis Hamilton (McLaren Mercedes) by 1 point.
After several successful seasons with the red prancing horse (Ferrari for those who don’t know), Massa announced that he would move to Williams in 2014. He was then paired up with Bottas. The Brazilian got 5 podiums and 1 pole during his stint in Williams Martini Racing.