Massa reveals talks with Williams for 2014 seat
Scuderia Ferrari
Posted By: James Allen  |  24 Oct 2013   |  6:56 pm GMT  |  90 comments

Brazilian Felipe Massa has said he is in talks with Williams – among other teams – with regards a race seat for next season.

The 32-year-old is in need of a drive after Ferrari chose to replace him with Finn Kimi Raikkonen, who is re-joining the Italian team alongside Fernando Alonso.

“I’m talking with a few teams, including Williams,” said Massa. “I will not go to a small team. I will go to the team that has possibilities to build a good car.

Massa, who narrowly missed out on the 2008 world title to Lewis Hamilton, added: “I’m not a pay driver. So I will not go to a team just because I have a sponsor. I will go for my experience and for what I have already achieved in my career.

“I hope I can find a direction to get a chance in a team that wants to have me for what I am and not for what I can give in terms of money.”

But the 11-time race winner, who made his F1 debut in 2002, admitted he would be willing to be part of a wider commercial package for a team.

“What I can do to help a team, I am helping myself,” he said. “Whatever you can have to improve the situation, to improve the development, to do the best you can for the team by using your name is definitely welcome.”

Massa has been linked with Raikkonen’s vacant drive at Lotus, but with Williams’ Pastor Maldonado admitting that he is unsure of his plans next year, it would appear there could be a vacancy at the Grove-based team.

Williams management visited Venezuela last week for talks with oil giant PDVSA, who currently sponsors the team.

Maldonado said: “Next year I have a contract in the team. You never know. At the moment I have not taken any decision, which is [set to be in] the next couple of races.”

And there are also rumours that Massa’s race engineer Rob Smedley is considering a return to the Uk to take up a senior operational engineering role with Williams.

Ahead of the Indian Grand Prix on Sunday, Massa – who has been a race driver for Ferrari since 2006 – said his focus remains on finishing the season on a high: “I want to try the best I can to score as many points as possible. The team is still fighting for second place in the championship and this is very important for us and it’s the only thing I have in my mind.”

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A few years ago Frentzen went from Williams where he was destroyed by Villeneuve to a brand new team called Jordan where he beat a former worls champion by the name of Damon Hill. He came back stronger and i have no doubt that Massa will do the same thing.

I think what destroyed Massa is the German grand prix in 2010.


James, I heard that Massa had signed 5 year deal with Williams!

Is that true?


That story is doing the rounds, checking it out. Five years is unlikely given Massa’s age and the uncertainty about his competitiveness.

Remember also that Massa has the same manager as Maldonado ie Nicolas Todt


Thanks James!


Remember that next year everything starts for zero, cause the most important part of the car is going to be something new. So Small times could have better performance… or not! Well, i only hope Felipe get a seat!


Williams can forget the dreams of returning to the top.


Sadly that seems to be true. Apart from Ferrari, I can’t think of any teams that have regained success after dropping out of the top four teams.

Can anyone think of any examples that are not just a case of re-branding (I.e new lotus a rebadged Renault, Mercedes a rebadged Honda/Brawn)?


I’ve got a drive for him! I hear my local taxi company is hiring.


Williams? Ouch, that’s a bit of a step backwards for Massa. Williams are a back marker team now, sadly. Maybe the Merc package will help them, but do they have the technical team to make use of it? 1997 was a long time ago. Hell, even their last BMW win was nearly 10 years ago.


I have always had a soft spot for Massa and was so sad when he did not win the title back in 2008, but he has not been the same driver since the accident. I don’t think he has what it takes to win anymore, and it would be in neither party’s interest for him to go to Williams – it’s time for Felipe to face life post-F1!


He seems to still have the knack of qualifying quite well which shows somewhere in there he’s got the speed, but really since day 1 of his F1 career he’s been speedy but ridiculously inconsistent and mistake prone. In a lot of ways I think Massa and Maldonado are the same – both clearly had some potential but neither has really substantially improved during their career in F1. I suspect there’s some sort of reality-altering device being experimented on somewhere in South or Central America, how else to explain the inexplicable ability of Massa to string together some decent results in 2008? Clearly that experiment was ultimately unsuccessful, with reason prevailing, but they refined it to the point that for one weekend it could make Maldonado drive like Alain Prost. Basically 2008, in my opinion, was a complete freak result for Massa against, in retrospect, a bit of a flake in Hamilton and lets not forget Massa was significantly aided by his Spa ‘win’. The same applies to Maldonado’s win – surely the most inexplicable result in modern F1.

Anyway, nice bloke and stuff, but never really much snuff as a driver, and I can’t see him suddenly transforming into a superhero in a Williams, that if past form is anything to go by, isn’t going to be up to much. Probably a step up from Maldonado in terms of consistency, and alongside a proper young driver of real potential (Bottas? not sure?) then he might be an OK option. But that’s it. Having said that, I can’t see many drivers with a lot of GPs and wins under their belt fighting for the chance to drive a Williams these days so maybe Massa’s as good as they’re going to get…


I’d be interested to see how he goes in a different team, but I doubt his experience would really matter next year. As Massa, his doctors and now Domenicali have all stated, there’s nothing wrong with him as a result of the accident. I believe the problem lies with the kers harvesting making the car unstable, something confirmed by Domenicali recently when he mentioned how the recent Ferrari’s have had a nervous rear end.

With extra torque and extra harvesting required next year, I can only see Felipe continuing to struggle unless Williams can build a really stable car.


It feels like the sun has been setting on Felipe’s career for quite a while now.

His luck began to run out in Sao Paulo during that Sunday afternoon shower in 2008 when Lewis managed to steal the WDC crown away from him that surely would have otherwise been his to cherish for the rest of his life.

The sad incident of 2009 that quickly followed during the Hungarian race when Barachello’s car shed a piece of metal that managed to somehow find it’s way into Felipe’s helmet at high speed, but thankfully did him no permanent injury, but put him in coma and out of the car for the rest of the season.

Then to the arrival of King Alonso, that sealed his fate as the team peasant and that ultimately saw him booted out as he failed to deliver on his side of the garage.

And now, like a ravenous mutt, we see him looking for the best of any scraps that might avail themselves from the midfield teams that could use the experience of beaten man who might share some of the secret sauce that makes a top team.


The problem for Williams is which Massa turns up for the 20 odd races in 2014. The Racer or the Driver? If the racer turns up, then Williams has chance of moving up the grid. If the driver does, then forget it.

Frank Williams has been well known for not succumbing to sponsorship pressure or even engine suppliers to put in their chosen one in his cars. BUT in the last number of years, it has to happen, given where they have been finishing. (Money speaks louder than pride)

This 5 year deal that Williams has with PDVSA, would most likely, from what we have heard, have a deal attached with it, that they are “forced” to accept Maldonado for the first 3 years of the 5 year deal, but thereafter have an option, if he isn’t doing the job, to replacement him with someone else. I therefore think the trip to Venezuela was to sound out the sponsor as to a possible change of drivers for 2014. Of course they need to explain why they aren’t getting value for money invested in the team. Pretty poor showing for the amount of money invested and the return they have had so far.

What Massa has going for him, is that he well respected as a good development driver. Good Feed back to the engineers. From what I have been told, none of the current Williams drivers have that skill, but it is something that you desperately need with all the changes in regulations coming in.

One other thing working in Massa favour is that Bernie wants a Brazilian driver in F1, and a Brazilian oil company, former sponsor of Williams is looking at coming back into F1.

What Williams really, really need, is that one missing visionary designer. A James Allison or Adrian Newly type of person. They have in Pat Symonds the solid old school racer – engineer, just need the one missing ingredient. Patrick Head and Adrian Newly where such a team in the old days, they need to re-find that touch – person again, and soon.


It would be a great move for both parties…

Massa has




-popularity (hence good for sponsors)

if he gets 50% input into the car with Bottas it would be a very strong team, especially with Smedley involved too.

The Williams car of 2012 had good turn in on the nose and good mechanical grip hence rear end stability out of the corners, two things Massa needs and makes the best of


The rule changes next year suggest that a good driver can make a difference, especially in the first half of the season. Not all teams will have their reliability and technical package sorted. Therefore its a smart move to have the strongest driver line up possible, even at the cost of short term profitability. The leading teams have realised this, witness what is happening at Ferrari, McLaren and now at Williams.


What about bottas? I really rate him as one of the better rookie drivers on the grid,


Not Chilton then? Lololol


Massa has a lot of raw speed! His head is the problem – be it concentration, focus or motivation.

Getting out of the whipping boy role might bring him back to former glory – or it might not. Its a tough call.


I have enjoyed watching MAS over the years but really he has had his day. Time to give another rookie a chance.

Any place that he might go will be a downgrade in car performance from where he has been, so what is the point of him carrying on in F1?


I agree he can be fast and that the problem is the head, but I don’t think that has a solution. Apart from not being a thinking driver in the first place, I think his accident really broke something there. He needs to retire.


Things that break drivers rather sound like: “Fernando is faster than you”, and getting the 2nd favorite strategy, when splitting the strategies.

And as soon as you’re caught in that situation, all you can hope is being faster than your team mate despite being treated as the number 2, which is even harder in this situation.

I’m pretty sure that when freed from this burden, he may well shine a bit brighter than he did in the last years.


The key variables and dependencies:

1. Lotus securing funding:

1.1 If funding – Nico Hulkenberg to Lotus

1.2 No funding:

1.2.1 Pastor Maldonado seeks confirmation of continued financial backing: Pastor gets funding – Pastor drives for Lotus – Massa goes to Williams with his modest financial backing Pastor fails to get funding and is out of the Formula One category

1.2.2 Nico Hulkenberg does NOT get Lotus drive, because they can’t pay him

2. If Massa does not get Lotus drive, Massa gets Williams drive


I have just read your comments and cannot agree with you when you say his funding will be withdrawn. More likely Williams and Lotus will both PDVSA sponsor if Pastor goes to Enstone. Hulkenberg is a good driver but he and his management team do not do enough in terms of trying to attract sponsors in my view. Nico is sometimes too modest in interviews as well which doesn’t help his marketability.


Fifth option down ( looks ever more plausible.


I hope not.

Despite his public image, for some reason that I don;t even understand, I just cannot stand Maldonado. I really don’t know why.

I really like what Lotus has done, especially under their constraints.

Though I was really happy that they provided a return landing pad for Kimi, initially there seemed a definite pro-Grosjean bias.

But now I’m a believer in both Grosjean, and even more so Boullier, who has done the best job of any team principle, under the circumstances.

I do not believe that Maldonado’s financing will be renewed, but his management team, knowing how tight it is for everybody, will dangle the prospect of it and try to lure unsuspecting teams into an iron-clad contract for next year.

Neither have I always been a Hulkenberg fan, who came to F1 with great fanfare, but has thus far failed to really deliver. But he is finally showing consistent ‘grit’ and fine racing.

So, I think this is a very good matching, and I suspect great things could come from the the Grosjean/Hulkenberg pairing, not the least of which, a fair intre-team battle, rarely seen.


As a Williams fan, I won’t be sad to see Maldonado go. How he ever managed to get a super license after his ban at Monaco is beyond me. Fast on his day but the guy has no racing smarts at all.

A Bottas/Massa combo would be handy for the team next year. I’m hoping Pat Symonds can right the technical ship after Coughlan’s failure.


Teams can consider him for one year (because of his experience in the era of massive changes next year and $$$), however after that I do not see too much point as he is well past his prime…Time for young blood in F1.


There seems to be a general assumption that experienced drivers will be well-placed to guide teams through the big changes coming nerxt year. But isn’t it also possible that a bright new boy would have less things to unlearn ? Opinions ?


Could very well be even though very difficult. Toro Rosso is giving it a try and let us see how it pans out.


Its not a age thing, 32 is not old for a F1 driver, it was that crash that took the edge off his performances.


I just said Massa is well past his prime… mention of age or crash.


That could be good for both, I hope they dump the Venzuelan. It is a question if Massa could get so much funds. Williams isn’t financially as strong.


If Williams replace Maldonado with Massa. you will see big EMBRAER adds on the car. That`s the only way he will have the job


James a bit off subject. What do you make of Gary Anderson’s comments about the (floor flexing and rake etc) regarding the red bulls pace since the summer break?


Interesting as always


Nicely answered ! Have you considered politics ? 🙂


Massa to Williams-No chance.


How are you so sure? You never know. If he is in talks with them then there is a chance.


Eddie Jordan says its off to Lotus for him.


eddie always gets it right 🙂


A few pundits in Brazil are publishing today that it’s a done deal.


Good luck with your search for a competive drive Felipe.

It would be great to see a team choose a proven competitor over a maybe with money.

With the major changes in car configuration for next season, Felipe’s experience could well be invaluable.


I wish and hope the best for Felipe!!!


“I will not go to a small team.”

Williams is a small team. It has a small budget. It has a customer engine deal. It runs pay drivers.

“I will go to the team that has possibilities to build a good car.”

Remind me, how many points does Williams have this year?


To be fair Williams’ car in 2012 was very good – it won a race. It was just let down by the drivers (don’t get me wrong, I think Senna is good, but he needed time to get faster, and Maldonado was quick but crashed most of the time). If it hadn’t have been like that they could have done well.

I think Williams could come back eventually, if they sort themselves out.


Seems like Williams has been playing a very cost-focused game for a few years, and are hoping that next season the new spec will lead to a reshuffle.

Each season for them seems to be worse than the last – unless they happen upon a supremely talented designer and a brilliant driver, I’d guess they’re simply going to run out of money (are they allowed to? If they placed 12th in the Constructors’, is there still an appearance fee for a former champion team?)


Bernie and Frank go back a long way. Williams will not disappear from the grid whilst Bernie is in charge. After that……..


Na they’re going th same way as Tyrrel and the original Lotus, its just all th way down from here apart from a few spikes of performances from somewhere, other than that its over, unless they do a Brawn next year, 1 in 50 chance so not good odds.


There is no way you could possibly know that.


May I suggest visiting JAonF1 home page to see the that Williams has scored F-1 point.

Could you remind us which of the “rest” is last to win a GP? Rest as in not RBR, Mercedes, Ferrari, McLaren, or Lotus.


Before 2012, Williams had last won in 2004. And they haven’t really had any real shot of a race win since then aside from 2012. Hulkenburg’s pole was a rare moment of glory for a team which is past it.


I can’t argue with you Joe about where Williams stands. A team with exceptional history. Since BMW left it has been thin. But fact is they won – even if I’m suspicious about that win. So let’s call them the current “Jordan” of F1. They are mid field at best, but have moments where they punch above their weight.

I’m fond of Massa and we’ve seen that with right support he can deliver the goods. His Williams experience probably won’t be much different than Ferrari really if you think about it.


It will be interesting to see if he can revive his career with a team like Williams. If not, his legacy will be defined as being a whipping boy for some of the sporting greats… Schumacher, Raikkonen and Alonso.

To be fair, it is a tough list of team-mates he has had. It would be nice to see him up against Bottas or Maldonado to see if he really has got it.


He was not a whipping boy for Raikkonen, nothing further from reality than that. You have a quite short memory. Nor to Schumacher, as that was his first year at Ferrari and he was learning. The only driver to destroy him has been Alonso.


Massa is not a consistent performer. Once in a while, he produces a miracle speed but most of the time he is just rubbish.

The stars must have been aligned for Massa in 2008 for him to be all so close to the championship. LOL!


Better car over the season? Yeah, right. Where was Heikki in it? 7th!

Still the last DWC in a car that didn’t win the WCC.

After China that year, and before Brazil, Smedley gave kudos to Lewis, saying they had to acknowledge that he was a decisive factor.


Or you can turn that around and say that Hamilton barely won the title in the last corner against what you all now claim to be a very average driver and Hamilton had the better car over the season.



But for one small overtake at the end of a race he would have been a world champion.


A : that’s a pretty harsh judgement, Massa was having a pretty stellar career up until his head injury in 2009.


Looking back I have to say I’m more than happy that LH won back then, even though I’m no Hamilton fan. Would’ve been a bit of a travesty to have someone like FM in the record books as F1 WDC.


He was Raikkonen’s whipping boy in 2007. Kimi joined Ferrari, won his first race lapping Massa, went on to win 6 times and the championship. 2008 and 2009 he was very competitive but lets be honest, it wasnt the same Kimi.

TBH, my point was that he has had the best of team-mates and he deserves to be alongside someone who isn’t a great driver and champion. Then we may see Massa come back to life.


And yes he was to Schumacher because he did all the donkey tyre work on Fridays. Schumacher used to often out qualify him with significantly more fuel. Alonso can barely out qualify him


I also hope you included Texas 2012 in your statistics


Did you not read the POST ACCIDENT part? Massa is not the same driver he was before 2009. I believe all of the top drivers would have no problem edging the ‘current’ Massa who hasn’t won a race since 2008. So this is why it is hard to judge Alonso compared to Schumacher and Raikkonen.


Quali record Alonso vs Massa:

Alonso 56-Massa 16

Alonso 78%-Massa 22%

Quali record Schumacher vs Massa:

Schumacher 13-Massa 4

Schumacher 76%-Massa 24%

Quali record Raikkonen vs Massa:

Raikkonen 20-Massa 25

Raikkonen 44%-Massa 56%

What did Alonso do to you to misprise his skills like that?



2013 9 Alo – 6 Mas

2012 18 Alo – 2 Mas

2011 15 Alo – Mas

Stupid comment.


Post accident and with the car being built totally around him


I agree with Nick. The head injury has made a huge difference to Massa, his career would have been much more successful but for that.

Unfortunately the accident did occur, so I don’t think it is likely that a change of team will revive his career.


Could he revive Williams’s legacy?


please don’t take him Williams, he’s past his best and doesn’t score enough points in a good car let alone yours (sorry). he’s just not worth the money he could bring, if it helps I can give you £5 towards another driver.


I have never rated Maldonado.

I lost some faith and respect in Williams a team in recent years, and any optimistic hope I had left in their resurrection evaporated when I read that they are in danger of being dumped by Maldonado and oil money.

Now, what he pulled off in Barcelona last year could be supposed to a perfect storm, where all factors have to align favourably for the freak occurance.

I bet you Massa could not have pulled it off.

Now add the two thoughs together. Need I say what I think of Massa…


He’s no Alonso and he is past his best, but he has not had a good car these past years.

Ferrari has managed to waste Alonso’ talent and also Massa’s.

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