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?
Arts and Entertainment
The Ridiculous Six has been produced by Adam Sandler, who also stars in it
filmNew controversy after nine Native American actors walked off set
Life and Style
Google celebrates Bartolomeo Cristofori's 360th birthday
techGoogle Doodle to the rescue
Life and Style
Drinking - often heavily - is a running theme throughout HBO's Game of Thrones adaptation
food + drink
News
Florence Welch from Florence + the Machine
people
News
people
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

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living