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Lowe pays tribute to 'solid and dependable' Massa

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Williams' Paddy Lowe believes Felipe Massa was the perfect man for the job this year, in the Brazilian's final Formula 1 season.

After 15 years and a massive 269 Grands Prix, the curtain closed on Massa's F1 career. While it was undoubtedly a disappointing season for the Grove-based outfit, the lack of success took nothing away from Massa's legacy.

"I've obviously seen him from a distance for many many years and admired his driving, particularly in 2008 when he was a great competitor to Lewis," Lowe told Motorsport.com.

"I was with McLaren at that time, and as we know he was briefly world champion, so he is a world champion class driver and it's been great to work with him for this year, and get to know him as a person as well.

"He's a fantastic guy. There's nobody in the paddock that isn't a friend of Felipe and he's great fun to work with because he's always happy and that's not actually the case with all drivers.

"He's a really solid driver and dependable - that's absolutely what we needed in particular with a rookie in the other side of the garage.

"He's been a tremendous support to Lance, and giving him a lot of guidance along the way, which is to really be admired and respected. That's the kind of driver he is."

Lowe expressed one regret however, lamenting the fact that Williams could not add one last victory this year to Massa's 11-win career tally.

At the Azerbaijan Grand Prix in Baku however, it came very close. Massa suffered a suspension issue while running third when the race resumed after a red-flag period.

Future winner Daniel Ricciardo passed the Brazilian who progressively fell back before retiring.

"After Baku, which was a pretty eventful race, there were a lot of people that came up to me afterwards and said we could've won that race if only," remembers Lowe.

"I analysed it and I don't actually agree with most, but I definitely agreed with the Felipe scenario. If only we hadn't let him down with a car failure, he absolutely would've won that race.

"It's such a shame that in his final year, we denied him that victory. Everybody's gutted about that, but that's the story of motorsport sometimes."

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