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Massa: I want to be wanted

NEWS STORY
14/09/2017

Having abandoned the pipe and slippers just weeks into retirement, when Williams came a calling following Valtteri Bottas' move to Mercedes, it hasn't been the easiest of seasons for veteran Felipe Massa.

The decline of the Grove team first witnessed in 2016 has continued into this year and the team, which is looking increasingly unlikely to challenge Force India, is now under increasing pressure from Toro Rosso, Haas and Renault.

While Massa hasn't had the best of seasons, and certainly not enjoyed a Riccardo Patrese like Indian Summer, the Brazilian has given a fairly good account of himself.

With Fernando Alonso looking likely to remain with McLaren, Williams options for 2018 are limited, a situation exacerbated by the fact that its sponsorship deal with Martini stipulates that one of the drivers must be over 25... a sort of F1 designated driver.

However, Massa, who has been linked with a move to Formula E, says that if he is to remain at Grove he wants to know that the team really wants him and that he isn't merely a stop-gap.

"I'm interested to stay if I think everything around is correct for me to stay," he told reporters in Singapore, "what is the plan for the team, what are the ideas…

"The team needs to show that they want to have me inside," he continued. "If I see that, maybe I stay. If I don't see that, I don't stay.

"I need to carry on the position I always try to have, and I always have, to be honest. And I think that's what I'm looking forward to next year. If I find a way to stay in the position that I want for myself, everything around the team, then I stay. Otherwise I don't stay."

With Alonso seemingly ruled out, there are few viable alternatives, especially as, other than the needs of Martini, Williams needs an experienced driver as Lance Stroll continues to find his feet.

"I'm happy with the way I'm driving," said the Brazilian veteran, "I'm happy with the way I'm working, I'm happy with the way I'm understanding the car.

"The most important thing is how I feel in the car, and I feel really good in the car, quite competitive in the way I'm driving."

Check out our Thursday gallery from Singapore, here.

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