Felipe Massa claims emotional podium finish in Brazil

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Felipe Massa has claimed an emotional podium finish at his home grand prix in Brazil today, finishing third after a difficult race that saw him suffer a number of setbacks.

Starting third, Massa made a good start to hold onto his position ahead of Williams teammate Valtteri Bottas, and managed to extend the gap by making an early first pit stop.

However, when entering the pits, he broke the pit lane speed limit, prompting the stewards to impose a five second stop/go penalty on the Brazilian, much to the distaste of the home fans.

When Massa did serve this, a slow stop by the team meant that he lost even more time, with McLaren’s Jenson Button now his nearest rival in the battle for the final podium position after Bottas dropped back through the field.

Making his third and final stop, Massa accidentally pulled into Button’s pit box at McLaren, costing him precious seconds and raising more than a smile from the watching Williams team.

However, come the checkered flag, he had done enough to beat Button to the line by seven seconds and secure his second podium finish of the 2014 season.

“I’m so happy for the race,” Massa said on the podium as the Brazilian fans cheered his name. “So many mistakes also in my race! I had the five second penalty stop/go for speeding the limiter, and also I stopped at McLaren because it was a similar color and it just was prepared before my garage!

“The car was fantastic, and so great with the pace. I’m so happy.”

As the only Brazilian driver in the field, Massa’s result brought delight to the thousands of fans that had descended on Interlagos for the race, and tightens Williams’ stranglehold on third place in the constructors’ championship ahead of Ferrari.

NEOM McLaren Formula E announces Jake Hughes will join Rene Rast for 2023 season

McLaren Formula E Hughes
McLaren Racing

Doubling down on their commitment to electric auto sports, McLaren Racing announced Jake Hughes will join Rene Rast to compete in the 2023 Formula E Series (FE), which completes their driver lineup.

The NEOM McLaren FE team was formed by the acquisition of the Mercedes-EQ Formula E team that won the 2021 and 2022 championships with Stoffel Vandoorne and Nyck de Vries behind the wheel.

“Today’s announcement feels like a long time coming,” said Ian James, managing director of NEOM McLaren Electric Racing in a release. “Since May this year, when we first announced McLaren Racing’s entry into Formula E, we have been working tirelessly to get in place the best possible team and structure for sustainable success.

“On the one hand, we have been working on the retention of the amazing talent that already was in place before going into the transitional phase. I’m proud to say I think we’ve done a great job on that front.

“On the other hand, we have been focusing on putting in place new processes and new talent – and the latter includes the drivers.”

The driver lineup clasps the two hands together.

Hughes brings 10 years racing experience in single seater cars, including a role with the acquired Mercedes-EQ team as a reserve and development driver for the past two seasons. He is the 2013 BRDC Formula 4 champion and has multiple wins in Formula 2, including two in 2020.

Announced in August, Rast joins the team after earning two podium finishes and six top-fives in 22 career Formula E starts for Audi Sport ABT before returning to the DTM Series last year. Rast’s best finish in Formula E came in the Puebla E Prix when he finished second to teammate Lucas di Grassi by less than a half second.

McLaren’s commitment to Formula E comes one year after they entered the Extreme E rally series in 2022 with Tanner Foust and Emma Gilmour in the driver lineup. After a modest start to the season, the McLaren XE drivers crossed the finish line first in Round 4 in Chile, but were assessed a time penalty that dropped them to fifth. Last week in the season finale in Uruguay, they held onto a hard-earned second place finish.