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Massa relaxed about F1 future despite Kubica, di Resta test reports

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Felipe Massa is staying relaxed about his racing future despite reportedly looking unlikely to remain with Williams in Formula 1 for the 2018 season.

Massa had planned to retire at the end of last year before being brought back by Williams after Valtteri Bottas’ sudden move up to Mercedes in place of world champion Nico Rosberg, who quit racing five days after winning the title.

Massa has enjoyed his unexpected season so much he is keen to extend his stay with Williams through to 2018, but the team is known to be considering alternatives for 2018.

As per Motor Sport Magazine‘s Mark Hughes, the team will hold a shootout between reserve driver Paul di Resta, who deputized for Massa in Hungary, and Robert Kubica, whose comeback push with Renault has been one of the stories of the year.

Both drivers will get a one-day test in Hungary using a 2014-spec car for a chance to partner Lance Stroll next year, leaving Massa out of the picture.

However, Massa said on Thursday at Suzuka he remains engaged in talks with Williams regarding next year and is relaxed whatever the outcome.

“To be honest in my head I’m pretty relaxed, so I’m enjoying and trying to do the best I can in the last races this year,” Massa said.

“I don’t know what’s going to happen next year. But I’m quite relaxed. I’m quite keen to do maybe another season. I think I can do it in a great way. I can give a lot to the team, like I did already and I think maybe I can do another year.

“I’m talking with the team definitely for next year and we are in discussion. So everything has some directions around, so I have my direction as well to follow, like a professional driver, like I was always in my career in Formula 1 and I am very happy for that.

“That’s the way it is and definitely I can do a good effort for the team but we need to find a good solution to carry on in the right way, that everybody is happy.”

Asked directly about the test with Kubica and di Resta, Massa questioned just how representative or informative running with an old car could be.

“Williams know 100 per cent what I can give to the team and, even if you do a test with a car that is four years before, completely different,” Massa said.

“You cannot evaluate too much, as well. So it doesn’t change anything for me, to be honest.”

F1 2017 driver review: Kevin Magnussen

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Kevin Magnussen

Team: Haas
Car No.: 20
Races: 20
Wins: 0
Podiums: 0
Best Finish: P7 (Azerbaijan)
Pole Positions: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Points: 19
Championship Position: 14th

Kevin Magnussen’s move to Haas proved to be a win-win situation for both parties through 2017 as they banished the struggles of the previous Formula 1 season.

For Magnussen, the move came after a difficult one-season stint with Renault who despite offering him a way back into F1 after a year on the sidelines were unable to produce a car allowing the Dane to fight far up the order.

Haas had not expected to be able to be that much further ahead, but Magnussen nevertheless immediately offered an uplift in performance after replacing Esteban Gutierrez, who failed to score a single point through 2016.

Magnussen picked up Haas’ first points of the season with a solid drive in China, and was able to capitalize on the bonkers Baku race to take P7, which would ultimately be his best result of the season.

Consistency was a real issue for Haas throughout the year as it continued to have teething problems most new teams encounter, and while Magnussen was more able to drive around the problems than teammate Romain Grosjean, he lacked the ultimate pace of his teammate.

That said, Magnussen’s season highlight came in Mexico, a track Haas expected to be its worst of the season. The ex-McLaren driver qualified on the last row but produced a stunning display to finish eighth, soaking up pressure from Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton late on.

The signs are positive moving forward. Next year should be Haas’ best yet thanks to the stability in the regulations, presenting a good opportunity for Magnussen to prove his star quality.

Season High: Taking P8 in Mexico when Haas expected to be slowest.

Season Low: Lagging home P15 at Spa as Grosjean hit the points.