Massa has safety fears over new teams

Felipe Massa fears Formula One's new teams could pose a danger to their rivals on the grid this season.

Massa makes his return to the sport in Bahrain this weekend eight months after nearly losing his life in an accident in qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix.



The 28-year-old was struck by a spring weighing a kilogram that had worked loose from fellow Brazilian Rubens Barrichello's Brawn GP.



Massa, who required life-saving surgery and a metal plate inserted to repair a fractured skull, is adamant he is 100% ready to return to the fray.



However, like Red Bull Racing's Mark Webber, who has labelled the new teams as "embarrassing" and "Mickey Mouse", Massa has voiced his concerns regarding the newcomers ahead of the season opener at the Sakhir circuit.



Virgin Racing has been plagued with issues in pre-season testing, and although Lotus Racing has proven reliable, like the Yorkshire-based team, the Norfolk marque is woefully off the pace.



As for Hispania Racing, formerly Campos Meta prior to an internal takeover, the Spanish team have yet to turn a wheel in anger, and arguably pose the greatest risk to the other drivers.



"I hope they won't be a danger," remarked Massa.



"There are six to seven teams one second apart, while those teams are four seconds behind.



"It's not good for the sport and not good for them. It's like two different series.



"They'll suffer, and we'll suffer too, when we have them in front of us during qualifying".



Red Bull team principal Christian Horner admits he can understand Webber's comments, and can appreciate Massa's point of view.



"The FIA have been keen to bring in new teams following the demise of Honda, BMW and Toyota, so it's good to see new independents coming into Formula One," Horner told Press Association Sport.



"It's great to see the Lotus name back in Formula One, and those guys appear to be doing the job properly.



"The Virgin team have had some issues in testing, but they've been physically running.



"As for Hispania, it would have been implausible a couple of years ago to think a team could turn up at the first grand prix without having turned a wheel, which is going to be a massive challenge for all involved."



Asked if the likes of Hispania were a danger, Horner replied: "It's not ideal.



"Our focus generally is not on that part of the grid. It will be on the Ferraris and McLarens.



"Hopefully it's not going to cause too many issues on what will be a very busy track.



"The worst thing for Formula One would be if one of those teams disappeared halfway through the year.



"Hopefully they've all sufficient finance to be able to complete the season, and grow from there."



Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor