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2014-03-12 08:20

WILLIAMS GAINS F1 VETERAN: Will Felipe Massa change struggling Williams' fortunes in 2014? Image: AFP

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil - Felipe Massa can look forward to a renaissance during the 2014 Formula 1 season given his switch to Williams after eight seasons with Ferrari, according to former F1 driver Rubens Barrichello.

Massa showed impressive form in Bahrain testing earlier in March 2014, setting himelf up for the campaign that will star in Melbourne, Australia on March 16 - 18.

Barrichello believes the change of scene "will do him a power of good".

'I HOPE HE FIGHTS FOR THE TITLE'

News media Estadao de Sao Paulo and Globo quoted Barrichello as saying: "Who knows? 2014 could be for him what my Brawn year (2009)was for me - one of renaissance? Sometimes a change of team can do you a power of good.

"I hope he can really turn it on, notch up some wins, fight for the title as I did that year."

It was in 2009 that the now-retired veteran of a record 322 GP starts between 1993 and 2011 was third overall for Ross Brawn's Brawn GP after the former Ferrari designer bought Honda.

Team mate Jenson Button lifted the title.

Williams, F1 champion 16 times, endured one of its worst campaigns in 2013 but Barrichello forecast better times for the team and Massa, eighth in the Drivers' standings in 2008 and runner-up to Lewis Hamilton in 2008.

He has 11 race wins in a career of 191 race starts. He will partner Finnish driver Valtteri Bottas at Williams through 2013..

Brazil has had three F1 champions - Ayrton Senna and Nelson Piquet won three crowns each and Emerson Fittipaldi two. Senna was the most recent, in 1991, three years before he died after a crash at San Marino. Driver Roland Ratzenberger was killed during qualifying for the race.

Barrichello, twice a runner-up, was seriously injured in a crash in the same race.

Stay with us for the first race of the 2014 F1 season in Melbourne, Australia.
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