Reflecting on the battle at the front of the grid, former Scuderia Ferrari driver Felipe Massa admitted the fact that the early season success of the Maranello team had surprised him, but added that he hopes the Italian side will be able to successfully challenge Mercedes this year. Sebastian Vettel won the first two races of the season for the outfit, and also has two pole positions from the opening three rounds.
“To tell you the truth I didn’t expect it. I expected Mercedes to be far ahead of Ferrari, and I think even Red Bull could be fighting them. What we saw in the first races was great for the sport because we did not see just one team winning. I am happy that Ferrari has started well. In the Maranello team they have made several changes in the last two years and many thought they were backwards. [But] they have shown that they have a large group that knows how to work very well. This makes me happy because I will always be a Ferrari fan.” – Felipe Massa said.
The Brazilian driver, who contributed to Ferrari’s Constructors’ Championships in 2007 and 2008 and was under contract to race for the team until the end of the 2013 Formula One season, also believes his former team Williams is paying the price for putting money first in some of its decisions for the 2018 Formula 1 season. Williams has endured a tough start to the 2018 season and is the only team yet to score a point after the first three races. Massa, who retired from F1 at the end of last season, believes Williams’s difficulties can be traced back to it lacking the kind of money the big manufacturer teams have, prompting it to run the inexperienced but well-backed pair of Lance Stroll and Sergey Sirotkin.
Speaking to Autosport at last weekend’s Rome Formula E round, Felipe Massa said: “It’s true that the team was suffering from the financial situation and I think they made decisions for 2018 putting money first. But this is not enough to make a competitive championship. All I can say is that I came out with my head held high. I have a good relationship with everyone at Grove and I hope that the best for the team comes out as soon as possible. But I can add that I’m happy to have made my decision last year.” – the former Scuderia Ferrari driver concluded.