Felipe Massa showed no signs of remorse or regret after ignoring team orders and refusing to allow teammate Valtteri Bottas to pass him during today’s Malaysian Grand Prix.
The Brazilian driver finished the race in seventh place, but he was given the call with five laps to go to allow Bottas past, as Williams believed that the Finn had a better chance than Massa of catching and passing Jenson Button for sixth.
Despite two calls over the radio, Massa refused to let him past, and explained to NBCSN’s Will Buxton after the race that it was the right thing to do.
“I will always try to do the best I can for the team,” he said. “I will carry on like that.”
This harked back to Ferrari’s infamous call for Massa to move aside during the 2010 German Grand Prix and hand the race victory to Fernando Alonso, which sparked fury in the Formula 1 world. However, the Brazilian driver does not see this as being a similar incident, and even laughed when the comparison was made.
The result did see Massa pick up his first points for Williams, having joined the team from Ferrari in the winter.
Much would need to be worked out, starting with how much garage and grandstand access would be afforded for a 2021 season opener that likely would occur during a still ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
He was a spectator (with racing legend Mario Andretti) at four-time champion Jeff Gordon’s final Cup race as a full-time in the 2015 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. In 2011, Hamilton swapped cars with three-time champion Tony Stewart at Watkins Glen International.
Having rubbed shoulders with other racing greats so often, it only would be fitting if Hamilton — who is one victory from tying Michael Schumacher’s career record and also could tie the F1 record with a seventh championship this season — spent some time with the greatest basketball player of all time.