For the first time in his Formula 1 career, Felipe Massa is driving a car without a Ferrari engine in the back.
After a few years at Sauber, followed by eight seasons at the works team, the Brazilian now finds himself at Williams for 2014 and is enjoying life away from the Scuderia.
As part of his preparation for the new season Massa, now 32, visited the Mercedes engine factory in Brixworth and liked what he saw.
“I went to the (Mercedes) factory and I was impressed,” Massa is quoted by Italy’s La Repubblica.
His team, Williams, have just made the shift to Mercedes power after stints with Toyota, Cosworth and Renault and the move looks to be paying dividends with the now Martini-liveried FW36 one of the dark horses heading into this weekend’s race in Australia.
Indeed all four teams with the German marque’s V6 unit appear strong heading the first race, and though he brushed off a claim that Mercedes had spent four-times more money on development than his former employers Ferrari.
The Sao Paulista also denied that he was looking for a three-pointed star when searching for a new seat in F1.
“No, but with a regulation change that is about the engines, you know that they (Mercedes) know what they are doing.
“And from the moment I arrived at Williams I felt very wanted, which is a fantastic feeling.”
He contrasted that to what he was feeling towards the end of his time at Ferrari when he always played second fiddle to Fernando Alonso.
“I will not speak badly of Ferrari,” he insisted. “I was there many years and I lived some beautiful moments. And some very bad ones as well.”
Particularly he spoke about the events at the German Grand Prix in 2010 at Hockenheim when, in a time when team orders were banned, he was told the now infamous radio message ‘Fernando is faster than you’.
“They did not let me win a race that I deserved,” said Massa. “It was not just the team order that hurt me, but the fact that I had come back from a very bad accident. It would have been very important to me.”
Massa admitted that maybe he had been “too loyal” to Ferrari but insists that is now in the past.
Focusing of the future he tips the Mercedes works team as the fastest on the grid, giving Nico Rosberg the edge over Lewis Hamilton, though asked who he thought may win the title he smiled: “I don’t like talking about myself…”
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