Massa Recalls Master/Student Relationship with Schumacher

Formula One Williams driver Felipe Massa looks back on his days under Michael Schumacher at Scuderia Ferrari as he juxtaposes his time with Stroll.

Once the student, now the teacher. It could be argued that Felipe Massa’s time in Formula One was ended prematurely with his announcement of retirement at the end of the 2016 season. There’s a pinch of poetry that surrounds Felipe Massa’s return to both fill a Williams seat and act as tutor to the F1 newcomer Lance Stroll.

Williams' Brazilian driver Felipe Massa (R) shares a joke with teammate Canadian driver Lance Stroll during a press conference in Melbourne on March 23, 2017, ahead of the Formula One Australian Grand Prix. / AFP PHOTO / Saeed KHAN / -- IMAGE RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - STRICTLY NO COMMERCIAL USE --        (Photo credit should read SAEED KHAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Williams’ Brazilian driver Felipe Massa (R) shares a joke with teammate Canadian driver Lance Stroll during a press conference in Melbourne on March 23, 2017, ahead of the Formula One Australian Grand Prix. / AFP PHOTO / Saeed KHAN 

Massa was recently asked if his role as a tutor reminds him of the time that he acted the part of student under Formula One legend Michael Schumacher. To which the Brazilian responded as such:

“Yeah, I think so – I think I am passing [information] to Lance a little bit easier than Michael was passing to me. I was asking more than what he [Schumacher] was giving – but he was giving, he was giving a lot. For sure, when I was in front, he was not 100 percent happy.

But I was asking a lot because I always saw Michael as a teacher, as a master, and I was not afraid to ask, to say ‘what are you doing here, what are you doing there’, I was asking everything I could from him.

And he was telling me. But sometimes I needed to ask, he would not tell for free, you know.” – Felipe Massa

Indianapolis, UNITED STATES:  Formula One Ferrari driver Michael Schumacher of Germany (R) gives teammate Felipe Massa of Brazil (L) a ride on his scooter down pit lane, 01 July, 2006, after Schumacher won the pole and Massa qualified second for the United States Grand Prix at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. The race is on 02 July.  AFP PHOTO/Stan HONDA
Indianapolis, UNITED STATES: Formula One Ferrari driver Michael Schumacher of Germany (R) gives teammate Felipe Massa of Brazil (L) a ride on his scooter down pit lane, 01 July, 2006, after Schumacher won the pole and Massa qualified second for the United States Grand Prix at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. The race is on 02 July. AFP PHOTO/Stan HONDA

Massa went on to say that although he had to approach Schumacher on occasions, Stroll has been very keen to ask as many questions as he can to catch himself up to speed:

“I’m helping him a lot, trying to pass everything I see, I pass to him. [We] get along very well and everything I can do to help him, I’m doing.

For example, maybe in one corner I’m doing something that he’s losing laptime there, so then he’s just asking, I say ‘oh you should do like this, like that’. Yeah, [it’s] no problem.” – Felipe Massa

Massa’s tutelage over Stroll has certainly proved to be a boon to the young Canadian – now if only other drivers would stop slamming into him and giving him more DNFs, we’ll get to see just what fruit Massa’s tutelage bears.

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