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Felipe Massa

The lowdown on Felipe Massa

Lee McKenzie's view

"The long goodbye to Felipe Massa was short lived - the popular Brazilian is back to replace Bottas.

The 35-year-old is in the twilight of his rollercoaster career. He has had plenty of wins but also a scary near-death experience at the Hungarian Grand Prix in 2009.

"He came so close to winning the world championship in 2008 and you wonder how much that would have changed his career, his story and his fortunes? 

"Felipe is another driver who has had to get used to being the bridesmaid at Ferrari, so the best thing he has done in recent times was to switch to Williams to help shake off that perception. 

"For all he's given the sport, he is back for more in 2017."


Erratic in his youth, Felipe Massa has mellowed into one of the most dependable, experienced drivers on the F1 grid in recent years.

After completing an apprenticeship at Sauber, he joined Ferrari in 2006, blossoming into one of the fastest drivers on the grid under the tutelage of Michael Schumacher.

After a breakthrough win in Turkey, Massa became the first Brazilian to win at home since Ayrton Senna, going on to battle Lewis Hamilton for the world title in 2008.

His dream was cruelly torn from him on the last lap, but the humility he showed in the face of defeat in Interlagos that day won him fans the world over.

His blossoming Ferrari career was blunted by a life-threatening accident in 2009, and while he did return, Massa was never able to consistently beat teammate Fernando Alonso.

After three lacklustre years he made the switch to Williams for 2014, a move which has served to rejuvenate the Brazilian, claiming a popular first pole since 2008 in Austria and five podiums to date.