This story was supposed to be over. Felipe Massa said his tearful farewell to Formula 1 last November, draped in the flag of his native Brazil and waving an emotional goodbye to the sport that made him a much-loved star.
Then world champion Nico Rosberg made his shock decision to retire with immediate effect, Mercedes identified Massa's Williams team-mate Valtteri Bottas as the man it wants to replace him, Williams said he could only leave if it could secure an 'experienced, credible alternative' to step into the breech, and now it looks as though Massa will begin to challenge Nigel Mansell as F1's leading proponent of faux retirement.
Successful comebacks are rare in F1. Niki Lauda is the undoubted master, coming back from the dead to fight James Hunt for the 1976 world championship after his horrendous Nurburgring accident, and then returning from a two-year hiatus following an uncompetitive stint with Brabham to win races and the '84 title for McLaren.