Joining Williams has made Massa “feel young again”

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Felipe Massa has revealed that he is thankful for Ferrari’s decision to drop him at the end of last season, as it opened the door for him to join Williams with whom he feels “young again”.

The Brazilian driver left Ferrari at the end of 2013 after eight seasons with the Italian team to make way for Kimi Raikkonen. He found refuge at Williams after Pastor Maldonado’s departure, and has since appeared to be far more relaxed.

Speaking to German publication Bild, he confirmed that he felt rejuvenated for the move after being under pressure at Maranello.

“Looking back now, I am even glad that Ferrari did not want me because it opened the way for coming to Williams,” he explained.

“You know, sometimes a change is good. I’m pretty relaxed, motivated, the team respects me. I’m older but I feel young again.

“I’m ready to fight and work hard. I regret nothing. It was absolutely the right move.”

At Ferrari, Massa was under a great deal of pressure to emulate teammate Fernando Alonso, and was faced constant scrutiny throughout their time together. Unsurprisingly, he does not miss this pressure.

“Here at Williams I think only about the racing, which is better,” the Brazilian explained.

“At Ferrari, if you don’t win, you have a big load on your shoulders. You try to use it as positive energy, but you are constantly tense.”

Massa’s Formula 1 career does appear to have been given a new lease of life since joining Williams. Even in press conferences and walking around the paddock, he looks like a man who has had the weight of the world lifted from his shoulders.

However, he will undoubtedly be aware that he is currently being beaten by his teammate, Valtteri Bottas, who is in his sophomore F1 season. The Brazilian will be keen on redressing the balance in the next few races, and without the pressure that he faced at Ferrari, he could soon return to the podium as a Williams driver.

Marco Andretti confident that fewer tests won’t hurt Andretti Autosport

Photo: IndyCar
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A small point of debate around the 2018 aero kit has been the manufacturer test days that took place through the Fall of 2017 and into the beginning of 2018. Chiefly, the debate has centered around teams who hadn’t participated in those manufacturer test days and if they’re starting the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series season at a disadvantage as a result.

Team Penske, Ed Carpenter Racing, and A.J. Foyt Racing completed test days for Chevrolet, with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports and Chip Ganassi Racing doing so for Honda.

That left teams like Andretti Autosport out of the mix, with some voicing concerns as a result.

However, in a press conference during testing at ISM Raceway last weekend, Marco Andretti explained that he thinks Andretti Autosport should be able to catch up on development, citing the team’s resources – they’re the only IndyCar team with four full-time cars in their stable – and the fact that everyone is still adapting to the new kit.

“I feel like it’s early enough days that, yes, we can catch up,” Andretti said at ISM Raceway. “When there is anything new, a new car, new aero kit, at-track days are huge. We can sim all these things we want. To really get out there and confirm what we’re learning back at the shop is another thing.”

Ryan Hunter-Reay during testing at ISM Raceway. Photo: IndyCar

Andretti continued, “Yeah, I don’t think we should look at it like we’re behind the eight ball. With a four-car team, that’s where we can use it to our benefit. So far so good.”

Teammate Ryan Hunter-Reay, echoed Andretti’s sentiments, adding that while the situation is not perfect, they will need to adapt to it in order to remain competitive.

“Any time you have a new car, to put it into perspective, we’re on track three days on a road course before we get to (the season open in St. Petersburg). That’s a very short amount of time. It’s obviously not ideal, but we’re just going to lace up our boots and get on with it. That’s all you can do.”

Andretti Autosport will have one more team test, at Sebring International Raceway later on in February, before the season-opening Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.

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