Felipe Massa says he is ready for his new challenge as an ABB FIA Formula E Championship driver as he starts to prepare for his maiden season in the championship next season.
The Brazilian has signed a three-year commitment to race for Venturi and recently tested the Gen 2 car for the first time in the south of France.
Massa, who was noted for his testing and development skills in Formula 1, believes that the all-new Formula E car will help his learning of the series before the fifth season starts in Riyadh in December.
“It [the Gen-2 car] is a big improvement on the brakes and the ideas are getting a lot more intelligent by the way they are developing the car,” Massa told e-racing365.
“I see that this car there is a lot of issues with the temperature on the battery and they need to pass the brake balance to the front a lot when things get hot at the rear.
“Then at the end of the stint when it gets cold everything comes back by brake balance to the rear.”
Massa, whose only victory on a street circuit in F1 came at Valencia in 2008, thinks that the 22 test days available to Venturi as a registered manufacturer will be vital as he gets ready for his competitive debut in six months’ time.
“I am learning about a lot of things like how to drive the car with the new battery and the road tires,” he said.
“I have never driven a Formula E car on the city tracks so it will definitely be a bigger change in how I use the mentality I had.
“It has no downforce compared to what I had in Formula 1 so the way of driving and braking and balancing the car is completely different.
“In the end it is a big challenge for me but I like that so I am really ready for this new challenge.”
More Former F1 Drivers Attracted to Formula E
Massa stated that more Formula 1 drivers are likely to crossover to Formula E in the near future and that his arrival in the all-electric series could act as a trigger for more to seek drives.
“I’m definitely sure that many, many drivers want to race in Formula E now in many different categories,” he said.
“Also me coming from Formula 1 to Formula E means every driver is looking also and at everything that is happening in Formula E.”
The 11-time F1 race winner also revealed that he was close to confirming a deal with Panasonic Jaguar Racing at the end of 2016 when he initially announced his retirement.
This was then changed because of the knock-on effect of Nico Rosberg’s own retirement which ensured that a seat then became available at Williams for 2017 due to Valtteri Bottas moving over to Mercedes.
“I was close but I didn’t sign anything [with Jaguar],” said Massa.
“I finished the season in Formula 1 but Formula E was starting already [in 2017]. I did a test but when I did the test I had already signed with Williams.”