Felipe Massa has revealed that he is thankful for Ferrari’s decision to drop him at the end of last season, as it opened the door for him to join Williams with whom he feels “young again”.
The Brazilian driver left Ferrari at the end of 2013 after eight seasons with the Italian team to make way for Kimi Raikkonen. He found refuge at Williams after Pastor Maldonado’s departure, and has since appeared to be far more relaxed.
Speaking to German publication Bild, he confirmed that he felt rejuvenated for the move after being under pressure at Maranello.
“Looking back now, I am even glad that Ferrari did not want me because it opened the way for coming to Williams,” he explained.
“You know, sometimes a change is good. I’m pretty relaxed, motivated, the team respects me. I’m older but I feel young again.
“I’m ready to fight and work hard. I regret nothing. It was absolutely the right move.”
At Ferrari, Massa was under a great deal of pressure to emulate teammate Fernando Alonso, and was faced constant scrutiny throughout their time together. Unsurprisingly, he does not miss this pressure.
“Here at Williams I think only about the racing, which is better,” the Brazilian explained.
“At Ferrari, if you don’t win, you have a big load on your shoulders. You try to use it as positive energy, but you are constantly tense.”
Massa’s Formula 1 career does appear to have been given a new lease of life since joining Williams. Even in press conferences and walking around the paddock, he looks like a man who has had the weight of the world lifted from his shoulders.
However, he will undoubtedly be aware that he is currently being beaten by his teammate, Valtteri Bottas, who is in his sophomore F1 season. The Brazilian will be keen on redressing the balance in the next few races, and without the pressure that he faced at Ferrari, he could soon return to the podium as a Williams driver.