Massa mulls move to Formula E

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Williams F1 driver Felipe Massa is back for 2017, but has no firm plans beyond this season other than “to keep racing.”
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WILLIAMS Formula 1 driver Felipe Massa may consider a switch to the Formula E series, after revealing that he had discussions about driving the electric single-seaters with the Jaguar Formula E team.

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Massa originally planned to retire after the 2016 season, after it became apparent Williams was easing him out, signing Lance Stroll to pair with Valterri Bottas for 2017.

But with the surprise retirement of 2016 champion Nico Rosberg from Mercedes leading to a scramble for his replacement and then eventual signing of Bottas to the German team, Massa returned to Williams.

Massa clarified, however, that earlier reports he had signed on with Jaguar for the 2017-2018 campaign were erroneous.

“I read I had a contract – I didn’t have anything to be honest. For sure some talks, but that was all,” he explained, refuting press reports that he had to withdraw from a signed agreement with Jaguar.

During a press conference at the first F1 pre-season test at Barcelona last week, Massa said, “It was something I was thinking for my future.” Asked why he still completed a test in Jaguar’s Formula E car after being confirmed for 2017 by Williams, Massa added he felt obliged to honor the commitment to the test, as it had been organized before his return to Williams was formalized.

“My plan was to keep racing,” Massa said. “So I had already decided to do this test, to know the car. It was a nice feeling – a completely different car and mentality of so many different things. It was nice learning a different category of car.”

Massa had a successful outing in Barcelona for Williams, setting the third-fastest time on day one in 103 laps of work, and said he felt fully ready for action despite spending the first few weeks of the off-season in retirement mode.

“I have no idea if I’m going to stay [in F1 beyond 2017],” he said. “I have the same mentality as I had last year.”

“If I can stay, if I feel fit, that I’m competitive, that I can do a good job and have some good opportunities to stay in F1, maybe I’ll stay,” he said, adding that a jump to “different opportunities” – presumably the electric series – was still an option.

BEN KRITZ

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