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Massa has 'freedom of headspace' at Williams - Smedley

ESPN Staff
April 9, 2014 « Chassis damage ends Ferrari's test early | Hamilton quickest on final day »
Rob Smedley and Felipe Massa had a popular partnership at Ferrari © Sutton Images

Felipe Massa now has the "freedom of headspace" at Williams to achieve his full potential, according to head of vehicle performance Rob Smedley.

Both Massa and Smedley have moved to Williams this year after eight years working together as driver and race engineer at Ferrari. Smedley believes Massa is in a better state of mind since switching teams and is performing on a higher level as a result.

"It's no secret that I know Felipe Massa very, very well," he said. "I know him inside-out and I can tell you that he is a very, very good driver. He's been given the freedom of headspace here to do what he's paid to do and he's delivering."

Smedley believes Massa is capable of giving Williams the motivation it needs this year.

"Without making too many comparisons to the past, which I don't particularly want to do, I think that Felipe now is very relaxed, incredibly experienced and there is a maturity about him and he carries that maturity well. He understands the job that he has to do here, which is not just about driving the car but it's about driving the people as well.

"He can do that. He's a mature guy, he's a sensible guy, but he's able to motivate people well and in the right direction. He's had some very good teachers in that area and I would cite Michael Schumacher as being one of them. Now his time has come, it's his time to do that and he's picked up the baton very well."

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