Felipe Massa secures first podium finish for Williams

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Felipe Massa has capped off a good day by securing his first podium finish since joining Williams at the Italian Grand Prix.

The Brazilian driver was confirmed to be racing at the team for the 2015 season this morning alongside Valtteri Bottas, and he proved just why he is rated so highly by the team by finishing third at Monza behind the two Mercedes drivers.

After starting fourth, Massa made a good start to rise to third behind Nico Rosberg and McLaren’s Kevin Magnussen. Although he did manage to pass Magnussen, Hamilton soon overtook him before going on to win the race.

However, this third-place finish ends a run of bad luck for Massa, and marks his first appearance on the podium since the 2013 Spanish Grand Prix.

“I’m very happy for the first podium of the season,” said the Brazilian on the Monza podium. “I was not very lucky in some of the races, but I’m sure from now to the last race we’re going to be there fighting.

“I’m so happy to be on the podium here. There’s a lot more to come.”

Teammate Valtteri Bottas fought back from a poor start to finish the race in fourth place, securing a 27-point haul for Williams that takes it above Ferrari into third place in the constructors’ championship.

For Massa, the result is particularly poignant given that it comes at the home circuit of Ferrari, for whom he drove between 2006 and 2013.

However, he will now be looking to add to his podium haul before the end of the season before plotting a possible assault on the 2015 drivers’ championship with Williams.

Roger Penske discusses flying tire at Indy 500 with Dallara executives: ‘We’ve got to fix that’


INDIANAPOLIS – Roger Penske spoke with Dallara executives Monday morning about the loose tire that went flying over the Indianapolis Motor Speedway catchfence and into a Turn 2 parking lot.

The left-rear wheel from Kyle Kirkwood’s No. 27 Dallara-Honda was sheared off in a collision at speed as Kirkwood tried to avoid the skidding No. 6 Dallara-Chevrolet of Felix Rosenqvist on Lap 183 of the 107th Indianapolis 500.

No one seriously was hurt in the incident (including Kirkwood, whose car went upside down and slid for several hundred feet), though an Indianapolis woman’s Chevy Cruze was struck by the tire. The Indy Star reported a fan was seen and released from the care center after sustaining minor injuries from flying debris in the crash.

During a photo shoot Monday morning with Indy 500 winner Josef Newgarden at the IMS Yard of Bricks, Penske met with Dallara founder and owner Gian Paolo Dallara and Dallara USA CEO Stefano dePonti. The Italian company has been the exclusive supplier of the current DW12 chassis to the NTT IndyCar series for 11 years.

“The good news is we didn’t have real trouble with that tire going out (of the track),” Penske, who bought Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 2020, told a few reporters shortly afterward. “I saw it hit. When it went out, I saw we were OK. I talked to the Dallara guys today. We’re going to look at that, but I guess the shear (force) from when (Rosenqvist’s) car was sitting, (Kirkwood’s car) went over and just that shear force tore that tether. Because we have tethers on there, and I’ve never seen a wheel come off.

“That to me was probably the scariest thing. We’ve got to fix that. We’ve got to fix that so that doesn’t happen again.”

Asked by NBC Sports if IndyCar would be able to address it before Sunday’s Detroit Grand Prix or before the next oval race at Iowa Speedway, Penske said, “The technical guys should look at it. I think the speed here, a couple of hundred (mph) when you hit it vs. 80 or 90 or whatever it might be, but that was a pinch point on the race.”

In a statement released Monday to WTHR and other media outlets, IndyCar said that it was “in possession of the tire in Sunday’s incident and found that the tether did not fail. This is an isolated incident, and the series is reviewing to make sure it does not happen again. IndyCar takes the safety of the drivers and fans very seriously. We are pleased and thankful that no one was hurt.”

IndyCar provided no further explanation for how the wheel was separated from the car without the tether failing.

IndyCar began mandating wheel suspension tethers using high-performance Zylon material after a flying tire killed three fans at Charlotte Motor Speedway during a May 1, 1999 race. Three fans also were struck and killed by a tire at Michigan International Speedway during a July 26, 1998 race.

The IndyCar tethers can withstand a force of more than 22,000 pounds, and the rear wheel tethers were strengthened before the 2023 season.