SAO PAULO, 14 November 2021 (AFP) – Pilot Felipe Massa leads a “very happy” and busy life after retiring from Formula 1, taking another phase this weekend in So Paulo.
For those who think that Massa said goodbye to motorsport when he left F1 at the end of 2017, he is mistaken. He then participated in the electric vehicle championship Formula E between 2018 and 2020 and is now in a stock car.
Back in the country after 15 years in Monaco, he opened a restaurant in downtown So Paulo and closed a partnership with a brand that sells ACE.
“I am very happy, I am enjoying life,” he said in an interview with AFP. “It’s good to have more time for my family, for my son. In the end, you understand that there’s still a lot to do. And it’s good to have time for you!”
In addition, Massa, 40, took over as chairman of the International Automobile Federation’s (FIA) CART committee with the aim of making the sport more accessible to young people.
“We are working with manufacturers and teams to understand how to spend less on organizing races, trips, amount of tires used, days on the track,” explains the 2008 world runner-up with Ferrari.
– “F1 is growing” – Although he says he has seen progress, Massa is “still not satisfied”. “It’s not easy fighting with the manufacturers,” he says.
“They are just like in F1, wanting to spend as much time on the track as possible”, says the Brazilian, who has spent fifteen years in the elite class with Sauber (2002–2005), Ferrari (2006–2013) and Williams (2014). Spend it. -2017).
Returning to the Grand Prix as an ambassador this year, the former driver is pleased with the turn the sport has taken since leaving the main category of world motorsport.
“It’s incredible to see the number of spectators on the circuit in Belgium, Holland, the United States or Mexico”, he observes.
“We Have So Many New Fans, Probably Thanks to Netflix [cuja série de documentários sobre a F1 é um sucesso], and they are all young.”
“The other day I was at my restaurant [os pilotos] Charles (Leclerc) and Daniel (Ricciardo), you can’t imagine how many fans were waiting outside,” he declared. “You understand how F1 is growing.”
– “Verstappen deserves it” – “And the season is really great, which helps a lot,” said the driver, who has amassed 41 podiums in motorsport’s elite including eleven victories and sixteen pole positions.
Massa is betting on Dutchman Max Verstappen (Red Bull)’s victory over Britain’s Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) in an electrifying straight clash between the two for the title, with four to go before the end of the season, including this Sunday’s race. There are races. in Interlagos.
“In my opinion, Max is worthy [o título], He doesn’t make mistakes. Of course, there were conflicts with Lewis, but the title race is something else,” he says.
“It’s a great thing to have different teams of drivers fighting for the title,” he said, referring to Hamilton’s six championships over the past seven editions. Having a different champion would be great for F1.
Massa spoke about the need to have a Brazilian driver in F1.
“From Emerson Fittipaldi” [campeão em 1972 e 1974]”We’ve probably always had a Brazilian in F1 and, since 2017, it’s over (…) It’s sad for a country that loves this sport. ,
Although the So Paulo native is expected to be Caio Colette (19 years old), ninth in the 2021 Formula 3 championship and supported by the Alpine team, and Rafael Camara (16), who after winning moves to Formula 4 with the support of Ferrari. Cart.
I hope Brazil’s “soon we’ll have other names for the color we’re wearing”, he concluded.
Pell / Junior / JLD / Ra / OL / LCA