Formula 1 ended its 'grandmother' era in 2017 - Felipe Massa

Felipe Massa says Formula 1 ended its era of "grandmother" driving with its 2017 cars, which he likened to the 2006-08 V8-powered machines in which he was most successful

Formula 1 ended its 'grandmother' era in 2017 - Felipe Massa

Massa won 11 grands prix for Ferrari between 2006-8, but ended his 16-year spell in F1 with Williams in 2017.

The Brazilian said this year's cars restored a challenge he felt had been the missing before the aerodynamic rule changes and move to more durable tyres.

"Definitely I will remember that it [the 2017 car] is nice to drive," Massa said.

"When you're just driving the car it is quite a nice feeling for the driver in terms of the G-force and the physicality.

"I think to do a perfect lap in these cars you need to be a proper driver, not like in the past where the tyres were going away or you needed to drive like a grandmother. Now you need to drive like a driver.

"It's similar to maybe 2006, '07 and '08 (pictured below) or even before that time.

"You have the car ready to accept everything so the driver really needs to risk and drive in a proper, aggressive direction."

Making his debut with Sauber in 2002, Massa raced in both the V10 and the V8 eras before the current V6 turbo-hybrid era began in 2014.

Despite enjoying the driving style of the 2017 cars, he admitted work is still needed to make overtaking easier.

"I think the only thing that needs to be changed is to understand how to follow other cars a bit better," Massa said.

"[You can have] as much downforce as we have but you need air. If you don't have air because you have a car in front you lose downforce, you lose grip.

"So definitely for overtaking, if Liberty can understand how to improve the cars on the floor or different things to manage to be able to follow cars a little bit closer it would be good for the show."

F1 bosses have recently mooted making changes to circuit layouts to help the racing, but Massa said car design was the bigger issue.

Asked if the tracks were also a problem, he replied: "Some of the racetracks, yeah. Some of the racetracks, no.

"For sure the car is more the problem than the racetracks."

shares
comments
Gary Anderson's verdict on new F1 suspension ruling
Previous article

Gary Anderson's verdict on new F1 suspension ruling

Next article

Stoffel Vandoorne: My early Formula 1 races weren't good enough

Stoffel Vandoorne: My early Formula 1 races weren't good enough
Load comments
Unpacking the technical changes behind F1 2022's rules shakeup Plus

Unpacking the technical changes behind F1 2022's rules shakeup

Formula 1 cars will look very different this year as the long-awaited fresh rules finally arrive with the stated aim of improving its quality of racing. Autosport breaks down what the return of 'ground effect' aerodynamics - and a flurry of other changes besides - means for the teams, and what fans can expect

Formula 1
Jan 21, 2022
Why new era F1 is still dogged by its old world problems Plus

Why new era F1 is still dogged by its old world problems

OPINION: The 2022 Formula 1 season is just weeks away from getting underway. But instead of focusing on what is to come, the attention still remains on what has been – not least the Abu Dhabi title decider controversy. That, plus other key talking points, must be resolved to allow the series to warmly welcome in its new era

Formula 1
Jan 20, 2022
The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022 Plus

The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022

Mick Schumacher’s knack of improving during his second season in a championship was a trademark of his junior formula career, so his progress during his rookie Formula 1 campaign with Haas was encouraging. His target now will be to turn that improvement into results as the team hopes to reap the rewards of sacrificing development in 2021

Formula 1
Jan 19, 2022
The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push Plus

The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push

As the driver of Formula 1’s medical car, Alan van der Merwe’s job is to wait – and hope his skills aren’t needed. JAMES NEWBOLD hears from F1’s lesser-known stalwarts

Formula 1
Jan 15, 2022
When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push Plus

When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push

There was an ace up the sleeve during the 1983 F1 title-winning season of Nelson Piquet and Brabham. It made a frontrunning car invincible for the last three races to see off Renault's Alain Prost and secure the combination's second world title in three years

Formula 1
Jan 13, 2022
How “abysmal” reliability blunted Brabham’s first winner Plus

How “abysmal” reliability blunted Brabham’s first winner

Brabham’s first world championship race-winning car was held back by unreliable Climax engines – or so its creators believed, as STUART CODLING explains

Formula 1
Jan 10, 2022
The steps Norris took to reach a new level in F1 2021 Plus

The steps Norris took to reach a new level in F1 2021

Lando Norris came of age as a grand prix driver in 2021. McLaren’s young ace is no longer an apprentice or a quietly capable number two – he’s proved himself a potential winner in the top flight and, as STUART CODLING finds out, he’s ready to stake his claim to greatness…

Formula 1
Jan 9, 2022
The original F1 maestro who set the bar for Schumacher and Hamilton Plus

The original F1 maestro who set the bar for Schumacher and Hamilton

Juan Manuel Fangio, peerless on track and charming off it, established the gold standard of grand prix greatness. NIGEL ROEBUCK recalls a remarkable champion

Formula 1
Jan 8, 2022