(Williams Martini Racing Team)
Former Ferrari driver Felipe Massa says he was not surprised to hear that Stefano Domenicali has left the team following a poor start of the season. The Brazilian, who himself left the Italian team at the end of last season and now drives for Williams Martini Racing said:
'Ferrari has made big changes in the last months, there was myself and some on the technical side who left as well so it's not big news that Stefano is also changing his position.
Massa's former Ferrari race engineer Rob Smedley attended his first race as Williams Martini Racing's new head of vehicle performance last weekend in Bahrain which saw the Grove based team finish on 7th and 8th place. The team are currently 6th in the Constructors championship on 30 point's, just three behind Ferrari in 5th place.
Massa has never won the Chinese Grand Prix however, the Williams team have given him and team mate Valtteri Bottas a very competitive car and with qualifying due to be wet on Saturday anything could happen.
When asked more about Domenicali's departure, Massa said:
'I have a great relationship with Stefano and I hope he has a great future, even if it is not in Formula One. He's a big professional and he can be very important for many companies. I hope the best for him, for Ferrari, and Marco Mattiacci as well who I know from my time at Ferrari when he was on road cars.'
Ferrari's hospitality building in the Shanghai paddock is set to be extremely busy on Friday as Marco Mattiacci will make his first public appearance as team principal, although he is not scheduled to appear in front of the camera's at Friday's team principal press conference. It will be attended by Pat Fry (Ferrari), Andrew Cowell (Mercedes), Charlie Whiting (FIA), Rob White (Renault Sport F1) and Yasuhisa Arai (Honda, who return to F1 next season as an engine supplier to McLaren)
©Ben Johnston 2014