The Formula One driver market has been blown wide open once again with the announcement that Ferrari’s Felipe Massa will join Williams in 2014 alongside current driver, Valtteri Bottas. This announcement comes amidst uncertainty about the future of many drivers in the sport, including Nico Hulkenberg, Pastor Maldonado and Sergio Perez.
But with Massa confirmed at Williams, all eyes will be on the Brazilian to see if he, like others before him, can try and breathe new life into the struggling team. Williams’ long and historic success in the sport has dwindled in recent years, and a host of attempts have been made at returning them to former glories. So far, most have failed.
Massa’s experience though, like that of Rubens Barrichello‘s in 2010, will be a huge asset to the team as their current lineup has a combined experience of four years. With the new regulations looming large, experience will be all the more important to any team trying to make headway in the championship.
Questions have been raised, however, over Massa’s ability to perform on a consistent basis. Since his near-fatal crash in mid-2009, Massa has not been the same. His performances over the years have been on a gradual decline and many question whether he should be in the sport at all, especially considering how many young and talented prospects are out there trying to get their feet in the door of Formula One.
This consistency, like experience, will be key to success in 2014 as the regulations promise to shake up the order in a potentially radical manner. If you aren’t delivering week in and week out, then you won’t do anyone any good.
Nevertheless, my faith, as well as most others’, rests in favor of Massa. He is far from a bad driver obviously, and still shows flashes of the old Massa that brought him to within one point of the 2008 world championship. Lets hope those flashes of light appear on a regular basis in the years to come.