Felipe Massa receives Maldonado backing
The Brazilian will replace Maldonado at Williams after eight seasons at Ferrari
Felipe Massa has made the right decision to join the Williams team, according to the man he replaced Pastor Maldonado.
Despite the relationship between Maldonado and Williams ending on bad terms, the Venezuelan believes the Grove-based outfit provides a good platform for the Brazilian to reinvigorate his career.
“I spoke with Felipe and I think he made the right decision,” Maldonado told Brazil’s Totalrace.
“First, just for the change,” he said, “as he was not achieving success with Ferrari in the last years.
The now Lotus driver also believes Williams will be in a good place in 2014 where it can take advantage of the new rules to move up the grid.
“It is true that Williams has gone many years without major success, but I think the team can start to regain its position of the past,” he added.
“I’m not saying to win, but to be constantly in the points and performing at the level of Sauber and the other middle teams.
“Felipe is a good driver, and Williams is a good team. I see no reason why they shouldn’t do a good season.”
Meanwhile Lotus have for the first time admitted that the decision to sign Maldonado for 2014 was mostly a financial one.
With no sign of a deal with Quantum Racing, Lotus needed to bolster it’s financial position if it wanted to stay in F1, indeed it is thought the lack of funds has left the Enstone team behind on development for 2014.
“We are still confident something is going to happen,” team boss Eric Boullier, referring to Quantum, told the British broadcaster Sky. “But timing is an issue.
“Obviously there is a financial support with Pastor, which in these days we may need. And unfortunately, as I said before, timing is an issue.
“We have to deliver a car in less than eight weeks now,” he added.
However the Frenchman said it was wrong to simply tag Maldonado as a ‘pay driver’.
“Maybe there is still some fine-tuning to do with him,” he acknowledged.
“I think we just need to make sure he can keep his focus — actually similar issues we had with Romain (Grosjean) last year.
“I’m sure that with the proper support and team around him, we can do something nice with Pastor,” added Boullier.
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