Massa welcomes Button’s Monaco return

(From left) Veteran F1 drivers Felipe Massa and Jenson Button seen during a press conference in 2016. (Photo: Charles Coates/LAT Photographic)
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Felipe Massa has welcomed the return of his fellow veteran Jenson Button for the Monaco GP – after both men had ostensibly made their final F1 starts in Abu Dhabi last year.

However, Massa is surprised that the former World Champion won’t test for McLaren by way of preparation.

Button was given the option to drive in next week’s two-day Bahrain test, but told the team that he would prefer to concentrate on running Monaco in the simulator, as the two tracks are so different, and thus there would be a limited amount he could learn.

“For sure it’s nice to have him back,” said Massa. “He’s a great driver. I was sure that they were going to put him in the car. You need to put a guy in with experience, especially for Monaco. So I knew it would be him.

“The only thing I don’t understand is why he is not testing here next week. The car is completely different, that’s what I’m saying. If we had the same car as last year, it’s fine. But the car is completely different.

“You have a test for free, you can do like 100 laps, understanding the tires. He never drove tires like that. If the simulator is great, why do most of the good drivers not want to go? Hamilton never went to the simulator in maybe two or three years.”

He added: “I would be here next week, for sure. If you have one full day to understand about the car, I would go, definitely.”