Claire Williams has admitted that she was not happy she asked Felipe Massa to reverse his earlier decision as regarding retirement from Formula 1, which he did to be a replacement for Mercedes bound Valtteri Bottas.
In December, Williams called Massa just after his visit to the factory for the team’s Christmas party. But he was delighted to return because he had retired primarily because he was aware he would not find a top-ride. He had not retired because he wanted to leave F1.
In an interview, William said;
“Felipe had announced his retirement, we had a whole fanfare around it, and then to have to phone your ex-driver up and say ‘would you mind coming out of retirement?’, you feel quite bad about it. But I’ve never heard anyone so happy and excited, so it was a big relief for us.”
According to William, they would never put a driver in the car if they do not believe he can deliver. But as everyone saw it even in his last race, Felipe is still motivated enough to compete in any race. She believes that Felipe still had enough strength left in him to face the rigors of the track.
Williams dismissed claims that the team should have searched for a younger agile driver and should have left Massa to get on with his life after F1.
She added that despite people’s talk, Massa was contented about being recalled into the competition. She initially thought he was ready for retirement but his action has shown otherwise. Therefore, she was sure he would do well this year. She believed he was going there to catch some fun, which was surely the best way of doing anything. In so doing, she believed the pressure would be off.
She said she was waiting to see him in action especially now that he would be paired with Lance Stroll.