User ID
Password
  Forgot User ID
or Register Today!
VegasInsider.com
Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Follow Us on Google+ VI Mobile Scores and Betting Odds
Home
NFL
NBA
NHL
MLB
NCAA FB
NCAA BK
Golf
Auto
Horses
Soccer
Boxing/MMA
More
Betting Tools

 
Massa upbeat about Williams' potential

SAO PAULO (AP) - The solid performance by the Williams team in early testing has left Felipe Massa upbeat about the new Formula One season.

Advertisement
The Brazilian driver had the second-best time in last month's tests at Jerez and said the ''good start'' could play to his advantage when the season gets underway in Australia in March.

''It always helps to start well, especially now that we have a completely different car, which requires a completely different driving style,'' Massa said at a news conference on Tuesday.

Testing is seen as crucial this year as significant rule changes have been implemented, including a switch to a turbo engine and more sophisticated energy recovery systems.

Debuting with Williams after eight years with Ferrari, Massa was clearly looking forward to making a fresh start.

''I'm really motivated, this is a special moment for me,'' he said. ''I changed to a team that welcomed me with open arms. I needed this change and I think the team needed too.''

Massa remained cautious, however, saying that the car's full potential won't be known until the first race starts. Car designs needed significant aerodynamic alterations compared to last year, with reliability and fuel consumption likely to play a big part in races.

''I think there's a lot to learn with the car and a lot has to be done to make the car improve,'' Massa said. ''It's hard to say right now how good we will be. Usually, in the first races it will be difficult just to finish the race. But it was a good start, I was happy.''

He said Mercedes also looked to be in a strong position after the tests, but that Red Bull has a lot of work to do to get its car ready after a series of mechanical difficulties. McLaren's Kevin Magnussen had the best time overall after the four days of testing in Jerez, Spain.

There will be two more test sessions ahead of the March 16 opener in Australia. The next testing period runs from Feb. 19-22 in Bahrain.

Massa said he went to France to visit former Ferrari teammate and seven-time F1 champion Michael Schumacher, who is recovering from a serious head injury after a skiing accident in the French resort of Meribel on Dec. 29.

''I stayed a long time by his side,'' said Massa, without providing many details on his condition. ''It was good to be there. It looked like he was just sleeping, like anyone of us sleeps. I'm really hopeful that everything will be OK and that he will wake up and recover fully.''

Massa said he is getting daily updates on the condition of his ''great friend.''

---

Follow Tales Azzoni at http://twitter.com/tazzoni

Copyright 2016 by STATS LLC and Associated Press.
Any commercial use or distribution without the express written
consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited.

  
HEADLINES
Johnson's visibility grows after 7th title
Johnson's crew chief Knaus celebrates
Monster Energy to sponsor NASCAR
Jeff Gordon to drive in Rolex 24
German GP off 2017 F1 calendar
Roush's program will scale to 2 teams
Rosberg feels toll of fight with Hamilton
Ty Dillon to drive for Germain Racing
2017 F1 set to showcase young talent
MORE HEADLINES
 
VegasInsider.com Gold Membership
  
corner graphic
With a VI Gold Membership, you can SAVE 10% off a Live Odds subscription, SAVE 20% off Daily Pick packages, and receive access to up to 1,000 Member Plays each month!
VI Gold Membership