Sunday, 13th November 2016, Sao Paulo. Massa puts his Williams into the wall at turn 15 at a rain drenched Brazil GP. What followed was one of the best moments in F1 in recent years as a retiring Felipe Massa walked back to the pits. Wearing the Brazilian flag walking in front of the main Sao Paulo stand all the teams came out of their garages to applaud the career of a legend. Lets not forget this was mid-race.
‘It’s difficult to explain the feeling,’ Massa said. ‘So special to see these guys in the middle of the race going out, just to see me passing after such a big crash’. ‘I will never forget this day, all of these people, all of you guys are going to be inside my heart definitely for all my life.’
One month later it looks like Massa is returning to F1. Back at Williams where he ‘retired’ a month ago. With the Bottas to Mercedes deal looking complete Williams have agreed terms on a Massa return.
With Bottas moving to Merc an experienced team mate to partner teenager Lance Stroll at Williams was needed. We predicted Paul Di Resta, we overlooked Massa as we thought such an emotional ending to a storied career would dampen the hunger to return after just one month. It points to Massa being pushed out of Williams in the first place rather than Felipe taking the decision to retire.
Whilst the world waits for news at Mercedes expect the Williams – Massa deal to follow shortly after if Bottas signs at Mercedes.