After securing his first pole position in over five years today in Austria, Felipe Massa is confident that this could just be the beginning of a new chapter in his career.
The Brazilian has endured some ups and downs over the past five years, coming agonizingly close to winning the 2008 world championship before being sidelined for half of the 2009 season due to a horrific head injury suffered at the Hungarian Grand Prix.
After eight years with Ferrari, he was dropped at the end of last season in favor of Kimi Raikkonen, but since moving to Williams, Massa appears to have been rejuvenated. In qualifying today, that was clear as he bagged his first pole since the 2008 Brazilian Grand Prix.
“I’m so happy with what’s happened today with us and our team,” Massa explained after qualifying today. “It was such a great moment. It was already long time when I had my last pole position, which was, yeah, in Brazil, 2008. So, such an incredible moment.
“For sure we need to concentrate on the race tomorrow, you know, it’s a difficult and important race for us. But I think it’s a great moment.”
After so long away from the front of the field, Massa is hopeful that this will not be a one-off.
“After a long time I couldn’t be in this place and I hope this is just the beginning of maybe some great possibilities to be here again, not just in qualifying but also in the race,” he said. “The race is tomorrow but I’m so happy, very emotional – not just for me but I think it’s a similar feeling what I feel and what Williams feels as well.
“Williams Martini had an incredible career in the past and they are back to the top, they are back to the fight. There is still a lot to do, but the work is going on the right line.”
With Massa’s teammate, Valtteri Bottas, starting in second place, the result marks Williams’ first front row lock-out since the 2003 German Grand Prix at Hockenheim.
Can Massa hold on? Find out tomorrow by watching the Austrian Grand Prix live from 7:30am ET on NBCSN and Live Extra.