F1 2015 Driver Review: Felipe Massa

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Felipe Massa

Team: Williams Martini Racing
Car No.: 19
Races: 19
Podiums: 2
Best Finish: 3rd (Austria, Italy)
Fastest Laps: 0
Points: 121
Laps Led: 19
Championship Position: 6th

Luke Smith (@LukeSmithF1)

2015 was another good year for Felipe Massa with Williams – ‘good’, but by no means great. There was very little of note from the Brazilian in terms of stand-out performances, with his finest hour arguably coming in Austria when he managed to keep a charging Sebastian Vettel back to score his first podium of the year.

Another followed at Monza after Nico Rosberg’s late retirement, but Massa was largely anonymous throughout 2015. His best chance of ending his seven-year win drought came at Silverstone when he led for the first stint of the race, only for Williams to play it too safe and cause him to drop back.

As he nears the end of his career, it’s quite hard to gauge Massa’s seasons. Frankly, two podiums is a relatively good haul given the pace of the Mercedes and Ferrari cars, and he did well to run Valtteri Bottas as close as he did in the drivers’ championship (although Bottas did start one race less).

It was a very ‘so what?’ year for Massa on the whole though. Forgettable for the most part and too inconsistent towards the end.

Tony DiZinno (@tonydizinno)

In much the same way as Rubens Barrichello’s career is building towards its conclusion, and the driver is still being appreciated along the way, now 34-year-old Massa had another solid if unspectacular season in 2015. Like teammate Valtteri Bottas, it failed to reach the heights of 2014 but still had its moments of glory.

Austria, which has quickly become Williams’ best track since the track’s return, again provided Massa with a point for his first podium. And for a Brazilian now racing a Williams-Mercedes, ex-Ferrari man Massa is still a crowd favorite in Monza, so banking another podium there was a welcome result.

If there was a demerit to his season, it was that it was a rough final few events for him. From Singapore through Abu Dhabi, Massa only had one top-five finish and an awkward disqualification from his home Grand Prix. It felt a damp squib of an ending to the season where Massa was usually consistent enough to bank solid points. Like Kimi Raikkonen, we don’t know yet if 2016 will be his final season in F1, but you’d like to see him close strong.