Villeneuve Backs Massa Move

Felipe Massa will have no regrets about his decision to go up against Michael Schumacher at Ferrari next season

Villeneuve Backs Massa Move

That is the view of his current Sauber teammate Jacques Villeneuve, who is convinced the young Brazilian will thrive in his new surroundings.

"It's great for him," said Villeneuve, who is hoping to remain at the BMW-owned Sauber team next season.

"He has been a test driver there, he has spent enough time there and he should be quite at ease. They are used to Brazilians there as well so that will be probably easy to move in.

"His manager (Nicolas Todt, son of Jean) is involved so that makes life easier as well, so for him that's great."

Although some doubts remain about Massa's maturity as a Formula One driver, especially because he is still only 24, Villeneuve is convinced that it will not be an issue.

"He is very good, he has matured a lot compared to a couple of years ago when he was very young. He is still young but now he has maturity so that is good.

"He has got to learn how to drive at the front which he'll have to do once he's at Ferrari and which he didn't have the opportunity to practice here.

"I'm not sure Michael will want to teach him, that's not what drivers do; you don't teach other drivers how  to beat you."

Massa's opportunity at Ferrari has come about because of the frustrations that Rubens Barrichello has encountered in being a number two to Schumacher.

Villeneuve believes that the number two status Massa will inevitably have at the team could well prove to be a bone of contention.

"He doesn't seem to have the personality for a number two so I don't think that's the reason they signed him. He is a fighter.

"I would be surprised if he just goes there and sits down and accepts everything. It's hard to compare different teams and different situations, Michael is used to being at the front and Felipe has never had the opportunity to be at the front so that's a different mindset.

"He's not one who will just accept being behind. He still has a lot of good years in front of him, he's still in a learning period, he is still progressing and Ferrari can only be good for him.

"He has been a great teammate he's fast, he works hard and we get along. In his position it's the best thing he could have done. For him it's great."

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Series Formula 1
Drivers Felipe Massa , Jacques Villeneuve
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