Formula Fun: Baby (Don't?) Come Back
Well it’s a new year and silly season has taken a step back while the teams wait to make their next move. But we still have the cloud over the seat at Mercedes, and the conundrum that it’s made for the Williams team. The People’s champion has been allegedly offered his seat back, but should he take it?
It’s looking more and more like Mr. Bottas will be suiting up alongside Lewis Hamilton next year, so that leaves us one seat at Williams to fill. Apparently it has come that Martini, Williams’ Title Partner, wants Felipe back in the seat so badly that Massa looks to have the shortest retirement in F1 history on his hands. Apparently having two drivers under 25 is a no go for Martini, hence the Massa return. Now, to his many fans this news has been met with cheers, but is it actually a smart move? And does his return rob the emotional catharsis that we all got at Brazil just a few months ago?
When I wrote about Felipe retiring a few months ago, I had bounced between being sad to see him go, and agreeing that it was the right time and the right way to go out. The farewell in Brazil after his retirement was the single most touching F1 moment I’ve seen in years. Is that all for nothing now? Are we robbed this moment of pure emotion?
The answer is yes and no. While I don’t agree with Felipe coming back, having an elder statesmen to teach Lance Stroll about the team and sport is the smart move. And at the end of the day, if Felipe, the most emotional member of the grid, the meme master himself, wants to come back, the offer is his alone to accept. Even if I think maybe his time was up, it falls on him now to prove that he can lead that team into the future. And, if Lance Stroll fails to live up to the money behind him, Williams will need someone they can rely on to grab points to defend their position in the constructors lineup.
When it comes down to it, we are only a few short weeks away from the 2017 cars being unveiled, and we can see how the new Formula shakes out in winter testing. If Felipe is on the grid, I can only wish him and Williams the best. Hell, maybe the old boy can go out with another win on his belt.