Felipe Massa to Leave Ferrari in 2014
Felipe Massa will make the move to Williams in 2014, bringing with him experience to the struggling race team in hopes of returning Williams to championship form. Ferrari has announced earlier this year that Kimi Raikkonen will be returning to Ferrari in 2014 as teammate to Fernado Alonso. Massa, a 32-year-old Brazilian will replace Venezuelan Pastor Maldonado who has been ineffective at Williams since relationships between driver and team broke down earlier this year.
Maldonado will likely make the move to Lotus to fill the void left when Raikkonen moved to Ferrari; however, Maldonado does have options to consider at Force India and Sauber. An announcement to where Maldonado will race in 2014 is not expected soon. Maldonado has scored only a single victory with Williams in the past three seasons, which came last year in Spain, resulting in the team’s first win since 2004.
Massa will be joining young Finnish driver Valtteri Bottas who will be competing in just his second full Formula 1 season in 2014. The 24-year-old Bottas said “I am happy to be staying with the team as I embark on my second season in Formula 1.” “I am looking forward to having Felipe as my team-mate. He is a quick and experienced driver and together we will be pushing to the maximum to improve the car and get as many points as we can next season.”
Massa, 32, leaves Ferrari after 8 years during which he won 11 races and was the world-title runner up in 2008 after losing the Formula 1 title to Lewis Hamilton by just one point in front of his home crowd in Brazil. Even with a more than impressive resume, Massa has not been as effective since returning from a horrific crash at the Hungarian Grand Prix in 2009, resulting in an airlift to a Budapest hospital where Massa underwent surgery in the area surrounding his left eye. After returning to Brazil, the decision was made that Massa would need a titanium plate inserted into his skull to strengthen his skull for racing. Before returning to Formula 1, Massa had to undergo a series of rigorous neurological examinations by the FIA’s medical delegate in Paris. Massa went on to compete in the 2009 Brazilian Grand Prix in front of his home town demonstrating his determination to return to racing and championship form. After a brilliant display of bravery by returning to Formula 1 so fast, the preceding four years of racing have proven to be challenging for the Brazilian driver.
Massa’s move to Williams further demonstrates the link between Brazil and Williams, which has been a home to Brazilian drivers Bruno and Ayrton Senna, Nelson Piquet, Rubens Barrichello and Antonio Pizzonia.