F1 2016 Driver Review: Felipe Massa

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Felipe Massa

Team: Williams
Car No.: 19
Races: 21
Podiums: 0
Best Finish: 5th (Australia, Russia)
Fastest Laps: 0
Points: 53
Laps Led: 0
Championship Position: 11th

Luke Smith (@LukeSmithF1)

Felipe Massa’s swansong Formula 1 season failed to offer any headline results, with the Brazilian appearing off the boil compared to Williams teammate Valtteri Bottas. Sure, the Williams FW38 car tailed off in the development race during the middle of the season, but Massa still struggled to match the Finn for pace.

Like Bottas, Massa enjoyed his best results in the early part of the year when the Williams car was at its strongest. P5s in Australia and Russia were solid results, but the middle of the season offered a barren spell. From Canada to Malaysia, he scored just four points.

A late upturn followed, the highlight being seventh in Austin, but Massa’s time was already up after he announced over the Monza weekend that 2016 would be his last season racing in F1.

Massa got the chance to say an emotional goodbye to his home fans in Brazil, even if it came in rather unfortunate circumstances; being met by a standing ovation after crashing out has the makings of an oxymoron.

Alas, they were evocative images that really did sum up Massa’s career: class, grace and gratitude. No, he was never World Champion, but he did capture the hearts of a nation. Obrigado, Felipe.

Tony DiZinno (@tonydizinno)

Felipe Massa bows out of F1 at just the right time, where it appears he was if not entirely still at the top of his game, he was still close enough to it. You don’t want to be a driver that hangs on a year or two too long, where past glories got further away and you’re found languishing at the back of the field.

Admittedly the magical Massa moments he’d delivered in spurts in 2014 and 2015 were harder to find this year. Massa scored 36 of his 53 points in the first five races through Spain, all finishes in the top eight, while he only broke through into the top eight once in the final 16 races (seventh at Austin). That lack of production hindered Williams in its goal of hanging on to fourth in the Constructor’s Championship, and ultimately saw them fall behind Force India.

That said, Massa got his thoroughly deserved moment in the sun – or rain, as it were – on home soil in Sao Paulo after his accident just prior to pit lane. We don’t get many genuine emotional tear-jerkers like that these days, but the admiration the paddock has for him was special to witness. And with that out of the way, Massa delivered a near perfect final Grand Prix in Abu Dhabi with no pressure whatsoever, defending brilliantly against his old Ferrari teammate, Fernando Alonso for ninth.

IMSA Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta: How to watch, start times, schedule, entry list

AUTO: NOV 13 IMSA - Motul Petit Le Mans
David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Start times, TV schedule: The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship will conclude the 2022 season this weekend with the Motul Petit Le Mans at Michelin Road Atlanta, which also will mark the end of the line for the DPi class.

The premier Daytona Prototype international category, which started in 2017, will be replaced by the new Grand Touring Prototype (GTP) class with its LMDh cars that will establish a bridge to Le Mans.

For the third time in four years, an Acura will be crowned the champion in DPi as the No. 10 of Wayne Taylor Racing holds a 19-point edge over the No. 60 of Meyer Shank Racing.

Last year, WTR’s No. 10 entered the season finale with a 19-point lead but lost the title to the No. 31 Cadillac of Action Express.

Full-time WTR drivers Filipe Albuquerque and Ricky Taylor (who will be joined by Brendon Hartley in the No. 10 this weekend) have a series-leading four victories this season. The MSR duo of Tom Blomqvist and Oliver Jarvis (who will be joined by Helio Castroneves this weekend) won the Rolex 24 at Daytona and have five runner-up finishes this year.

Championship scenarios in the other four categories:

GTD Pro: Points leaders Matt Campbell and Mathieu Jaminet will clinch the title by starting in their No. 9 Pfaff Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R.

–GTD: There are 140 points separating the top four teams with Roman De Angelis and the No. 27 Heart of Racing Aston Martin Vantage GT3 leading by 45 points.

–LMP2: John Farano is first in the driver standings by 33 points over Dwight Merriman and Ryan Dalziel. In the team standings, the No. 52 PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports leads by 19 points over the No. 8 Tower Motorsport (Farano’s team).

–LMP3: No. 54 CORE autosport drivers Jon Bennett and Colin Braun lead by 83 points over the No. 74 Riley Motorsports of Gar Robinson.

With the 10-hour race requiring an extra driver, several stars from other racing series have been added. In addition to Castroneves, Scott Dixon and Ryan Hunter-Reay will serve as third drivers in Chip Ganassi Racing’s pair of Cadillacs.

Jimmie Johnson also will be making his last DPi start in the No. 48 Ally Cadillac with Mike Rockenfeller and Kamui Kobayashi. Petit Le Mans could mark the last start in an IMSA prototype for Johnson, who has said limited inventory likely will keep him out of the GTP category in the Rolex 24 next year.

Here are the start times, starting lineup, schedule and TV info for the IMSA Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta (all times are ET):

Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta start times, schedule, TV info

When: Saturday, 12:10 p.m. ET

Race distance: Ten hours on the 12-turn, 2.54-mile road course

TV: Noon-3 p.m., NBC; 3-10:30 p.m., USA Network. Peacock, the NBC Sports App,and NBCSports.com will have streaming coverage of the event from flag to flag beginning at noon. Leigh Diffey and Dave Burns are the play by play announcers with analysts Calvin Fish, Townsend Bell, James Hinchcliffe and Brian Till. The pit reporters are Kevin Lee, Hannah Newhouse, Dillon Welch and Matt Yocum.

IMSA.com live TV qualifying stream: Friday, 3:35 p.m. ET.

IMSA Radio: All sessions are live on IMSA.com and RadioLeMans.com; SiriusXM live race coverage will begin Saturday at noon (XM 207, Internet/App 992).

Forecast: According to Wunderground.com, it’s expected to be 63 degrees with an 85% chance of rain at the green flag.

Entry list: Click here to see the 48-car field for the IMSA Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta

Daily schedule IMSA Petit Le Mans

Here’s a rundown of the Petit Le Mans at Michelin Road Atlanta in Braselton, Georgia:

Wednesday, Sept. 28

9:30 a.m.: Mazda MX-5 practice

10:25 a.m.: Porsche Carrera Cup

12:30 p.m.: Prototype Challenge practice

1:15 p.m.: Mazda MX-5 practcice

2 p.m.: Porsche Carrera Cup practice

3:30 p.m.: Michelin Challenge practice

Thursday, Sept. 29

8 a.m.: Prototype Challenge practice

9 a.m.: Porsche Carrera Cup qualifying

9:50 a.m.: IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship practice

11:40 a.m.: Prototype Challenge qualifying

12:10 p.m.: Michelin Challenge practice

1:50 p.m.: Mazda MX-5, Race 1

2:55 p.m.: IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship practice

5 p.m.: Porsche Carrera Cup, Race 1

6 p.m.: Michelin Challenge qualifying

7:30 p.m.: IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship practice

Friday, Sept. 30

8 a.m.: Prototype Challenge race

9:50 a.m.: Mazda MX-5, Race 2

10:55 a.m.: Porsche Carrera Cup, Race 2

1:10 p.m.: IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge race

3:40 p.m.: IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship qualifying

Saturday, Oct. 1

9:15 a.m.: IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship practice

12:10 p.m.: Petit Le Mans