Massa relaxed about his future in F1 with Williams

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Felipe Massa remains relaxed about his future in Formula 1 with Williams Martini Racing, saying that he believes he will race for the team in 2016.

F1’s annual ‘silly season’ was sparked off last week when the Italian press reported that Williams’ Valtteri Bottas is set to join Ferrari for next season in place of Kimi Raikkonen.

Since then, a huge amount of speculation regarding the driver market has been circulating, with Massa’s future also being brought into question.

However, the Brazilian is feeling relaxed about his future with Williams, believing that he will still be racing for the team next season.

“I hope so,” Massa said when asked if he would be staying with Williams for 2016. “Nothing’s changed at the moment, I don’t see why I should not be there.

“I’m really enjoying working with the team. The team is really respecting me 100 percent and I think enjoying the way I work with the team as well.

“I see that the team is growing, growing and getting stronger most of the time, but what people wrote a few days ago or maybe a week ago, I don’t think really this guy has the right information.

“I believe I will drive for Williams next year.”

Massa joined Williams in 2014 following an eight-season stint with Ferrari, and has enjoyed a new lease of life in F1 with the British team.

The Brazilian had been in the running to win the British Grand Prix in the early stages of the race after seizing the lead at the start, only to fade late on and finish in fourth place.

“It feels amazing to be at the front,” Massa said. “It’s really a great feeling. Unfortunately it didn’t stay until the checkered flag, but it was a great feeling to be back at the front, to be back fighting for the victory at least, you know.

“We couldn’t manage to win at the end, not just for the first moment we lost the first and I went to second but also for the rain; we were struggling a lot in the rain and it’s definitely part of our working to improve the car in the rain.

“But I think we need to take also the positive things, that the car was competitive, maybe we were very close to Mercedes. Even if they were a little bit quicker, we were not far [away].”

Lewis Hamilton receives Daytona 500 invitation from Bubba Wallace

Lewis Hamilton Bubba Wallace
Rudy Carezzevoli/Getty Images
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Lewis Hamilton is a fan of the new NASCAR Cup Series team formed by Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan to field a car for Bubba Wallace.

Will the six-time Formula One champion also be a fan in person at a NASCAR race in the near future?

Wallace is hoping so.

After Hamilton tweeted his support Tuesday morning about the news of a Hamlin-Jordan-Wallace team making its debut with the 2021 season, Wallace responded with a sly invitation to the Daytona 500.

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.

But it would seem fitting given that Hamilton and Wallace have been two of the world’s most outspoken Black athletes about the quest for diversity and racial justice. Hamilton recently reaffirmed his commitment to activism after his donning a Breonna Taylor shirt sparked an FIA inquiry.

The idea of Hamilton attending the season opener already had legs, too. The Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 driver has expressed a desire to race the Daytona 500 after he has retired from Formula One.

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.

Jeff Gordon was flanked by Mario Andretti and Lewis Hamilton before the 2015 Cup season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway (Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images).