Sport does a really bad job of remembering those who finish second, even when their defeat is dealt by the smallest of margins. However, Felipe Massa is somewhat of an exception, having been one half of a 2008 world championship tussle that will surely be remembered as long as racing cars lap racing circuits.
Last week, Massa announced that the final two races of the 2017 season will be his last in Formula 1. A familiar position following his announcement last season that he would retire at the conclusion of the 2016 campaign, only to be recalled just weeks later as Williams needed a late replacement for the Mercedes-bound Bottas.
With Massa already setting his sights on other categories, the chances of a second return to F1 range between slim and none. All-out for 15 years at the pinnacle of motorsport, 11 victories, 41 podiums and a starring role in the most dramatic sporting spectacle F1 will likely ever host.
As the sun rose over the Circuit de Catalunya this morning, teams entered into the final 24 hours of testing prior to the curtain raiser in Melbourne. Unsurprisingly, the intrigue continues to build as teams begin to reveal more clues providing hints as to what this season’s pecking order could look like.
After yesterday’s revelation that Hamilton percieves Ferrari to have the best package heading into the season, today was particularly intriguing, as we armchair pundits frantically studied the times in an attempt to find evidence for Hamilton’s suggestion. In reality, it was Williams who provided further evidence that they could, in fact, be dark horses.
Meanwhile, Mercedes seemed to turn up the power on their W08.
Here are FIVE THINGS WE LEARNED on day six of pre-season testing…
The F1 circus reconvened in Barcelona today, as 2017 testing fired back into life. The first week of pre-season testing offered a few clues with regards to the pecking order, yet this week promises to reveal far more as teams begin to show their hands by testing the true performance of their package.
Today was a tale of winners a losers. Ferrari, Williams and Red Bull all enjoyed excellent outings, while McLaren and Honda’s relationship has taken another sour turn, with the partnership now under “maximum” strain.
Here’s FIVE THINGS WE LEARNED on day five of pre-season testing…
Williams upheld their recent tradition on Friday, beating their opposition to the pre-season headlines by releasing some teasing renders of their new challenger. The digital version of the FW40 is the first glimpse we have had into the future of the sport, with the new technical regulations sparking significant aesthetic and performance changes.
However, a brief glance at social media since would highlight that some are underwhelmed by the first look at F1’s future.
Fear not, ladies and gentlemen. Here are five reasons to love the FW40 render…
Hailed by his former Formula Renault 2.0 boss, Timo Rumpfkeil, as an “exceptional natural talent,” Valtteri Bottas certainly has his admirers. Conversely, some have been heavily critical of Mercedes’ decision to hire the Finn as Nico Rosberg’s replacement, and having been signed on a one-year contract, it seems that the jury is even out among the boardroom of his new employers.
Skeptics should read on. Here are the top five races of Bottas’ F1 career. Five reasons why Mercedes should have little to fear regarding their new recruit heading into 2017.
Anyone who follows me on Twitter will know that I made the trek to Birmingham on Sunday to visit the NEC. I say trek, it’s more of a pilgrimage for motorsport fans, as the worlds of F1, BTCC and almost every other form of motorsport you can conjure up, collide for Autosport International.
It was my first visit to the event and being an F1 fanatic, the F1 presentations were of keen interest. Williams are celebrating their 40th Anniversary in 2017 and, as such, were an integral part of the overall show.
Seeing the FW38, listening to Claire Williams and watching Rob Smedley eat lunch was fantastic, but I can’t help but feel that something was missing.
Nine podiums, 411 points and a fastest lap so far, but Valtteri Bottas’ stats could be about to head stratospheric, as the Finn joins the team has provided the benchmark to their competition over the past three seasons.
Bottas has big shoes to fill, entering the team as Nico Rosberg’s replacement and taking the hotseat alongside Lewis Hamilton. Arguably, the hardest driver to partner on the grid, given his relentless speed and seismic personality.
2017 will be a season that either makes or breaks Valtteri Bottas’ F1 career.