Massa keeping options open for 2018

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Felipe Massa may well remain on the Formula 1 grid in 2018, with the Brazilian keeping his options open for next year.

The 2008 championship runner-up was meant to be enjoying retirement this year, making the announcement at last year's Italian Grand Prix and having emotional farewells in Brazil and Abu Dhabi, but the significant change in plans occurred with the Sao Paulista staying on at Williams to allow Valtteri Bottas to make the move to Mercedes.

Initially, it was thought this year would simply be a transition year before a longer-term replacement for the Finn was found, but Massa has continued to be an impressive performer scoring 20 points and was running strongly both in Canada and Baku before poor luck saw him eliminated at both races.

Speaking this week to the official F1 website, it seems those retirement plans could wait a little longer too when asked if he would consider staying on.

"Maybe, yes, I mentioned that some weeks ago, yes," Felipe said. "Things are going well. I feel very competitive, as I like the car that I am driving. I love the new rules. 

"For my driving style everything works very well – the only thing that has to be sorted out is the 'luck issue'! 

"So I don’t see any point not carrying on."

The 36-year-old is keen, however, to avoid simply making up the numbers with the thrill of battling for good results maintaining his current passion

"Having a team that I believe is correct for me. A team that can give me a competitive car – that can make me feel good. Then I stay on," he said, indicating what would keep him in F1. 

"I don't want to stay not being happy and not being competitive."

With the first 'silly season' murmurs starting to appear in what could be a very active driver market for 2018, Massa has admitted no talks have yet been held with any team including Williams.

"No I haven't," he said, "but I am not in a hurry. 

"I enjoy my situation race by race – and then the time will come to make the talking. I am sure it will not take long."