2008 Formula 1 runner-up Felipe Massa recently discussed the current hot topics in the sport, during an interview with Sky Sports‘ Any Driven Monday.
The Brazilian driver spoke about the current situation between the Aston Martin F1 Team and the Alpine F1 Team, after the surprising revelations which took place both before and after the Hungarian Grand Prix.
Prior to the Hungarian GP, Sebastian Vettel shocked everyone by announcing his retirement from the sport, with the German driver set to walk away from F1 at the end of 2022, to spend time with his family.
The four-time World Championship winner will go down as one of the greatest drivers ever in Formula 1, after claiming all his titles in consecutive seasons from 2010-2013.
However, it’s not just what Vettel has done on the track which is beyond outstanding; it’s what he’s done off it too.
Vettel has gone out of his way to support a number of campaigns alongside his racing duties, including, environmental change and the LGBTQ+ community.
Massa thinks the time is right for Vettel to retire; however, the 41-year-old believes it’s important that people “applause” the Aston Martin driver.
“I think it’s important to speak about Sebastian Vettel, because he’s a driver that deserves all the applause for his career, for everything that he did,” he said.
“[He won] many championships, he won in many different categories. He’s, in my view, a very important driver in the history of Formula 1, so he deserved definitely a good applause for everything that he did.
“In my view, it was a good decision for him to retire and to think about other things [in life] as well.”
Whilst Vettel’s retirement was surprising, the announcement of who his replacement is has caused complete chaos throughout the paddock and in the driver market.
It was announced the day after the Hungarian GP that Alpine driver Fernando Alonso will be replacing Vettel at Aston Martin from 2023, in a multi-year deal.
Mick Schumacher was the bookies favourite to take his ‘mentor’s’ spot, with Alonso expected to remain at the Enstone-based side.
The double World Champion has the option to race for Aston Martin for potentially three years, which will see the 41-year-old surpass 400 Grand Prix starts.
Whilst the stats are something to behold, Massa isn’t sure if the move is right for Alonso based on Aston Martin’s current position towards the back of the grid.
“First of all, Fernando is an amazing driver,” Massa said.
“I had the chance to be teammates with him [for a] long time [at] Ferrari. I learned a lot with him, so he’s, in my view, one of the best drivers in Formula 1.
“It was a little bit strange to hear that decision from him to sign with Aston Martin,” he admitted.
“To be honest, if you want to hear what I have to say, I think Aston Martin has a lot to gain with Fernando there, I don’t know if Fernando has a lot to gain by being there with Aston Martin, in my view.
“The most important thing for Fernando is to have a competitive car in order to show what he’s able to,” he said.
“But, if things stay in the way it is now, Fernando [could be] fighting for 10th, 11th, 12th, 13th position.
“So this, I don’t think will be really interesting for him.”