Williams Formulation 1 technical chief Paddy Lowe believes that Felipe Massa is driving higher than ever in 2017, having fun with a second wind after planning to retire on the finish of final season.
Massa had been set to stop F1 following final 12 months’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, solely to be drafted again in by Williams for 2017 when Valtteri Bottas joined Mercedes following Nico Rosberg’s shock retirement.
Massa has since loved a new-found spring in his step, choosing up 20 factors by means of the primary eight races of the season, and had been in competition for a podium end in Baku earlier than being compelled to retire from the race.
Lowe believed that Massa may have even received the race given the problems encountered by Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel that allowed Daniel Ricciardo to assert victory.
“We imagine Felipe would have been able to profitable the race,” Lowe mentioned. “We’re optimistic about what we are able to do for the rest of the season, however it’s a lengthy method to discuss additional podiums within the short-term except we have now incident-packed races.
“Felipe is a really skilled and mature driver who clearly is upset, however that’s one thing we will not dwell on it. We stay up for bringing extra efficiency from the automotive within the coming races and take some confidence with what we have been capable of handle this weekend from ourselves.
“We’re in a good condition to take fifth place within the F1 world constructors and now we need to see if we are able to get again to fourth in opposition to Power India. That’s fairly a great distance however it’s on our listing subsequent.”
When requested if he felt Massa was driving in addition to he has ever executed, Lowe mentioned: “It appears like that to me. I hadn’t labored with him earlier than however they are saying he’s.
“I can not fault him as he at all times has the automotive on the restrict and his suggestions in improbable, his approach is improbable and he’s a extremely nice particular person. He’s so pleasant, welcoming and only a pleasure to work with.
“I can not think about him having ever been higher than this as a result of he’s good in the mean time.”