Recently retired Formula 1 driver Felipe Massa was a surprise visitor to the ‘Roar Before the 24’ at Daytona International Speedway on Friday.
The Brazilian, who spent the 2017 season mentoring F1 rookie Lance Stroll at the Williams Grand Prix team, spent the opening practice session hopping from pit to pit as he visited with F1 friends and countrymen.
“I’m just here to see some friends,” Massa told RACER. “There’s a lot of people to see.”
Massa’s first stop came in the United Autosports pit where he spent time with McLaren’s Fernando Alonso (pictured) and McLaren team principal/United Autosports owner Zak Brown. The 11-time F1 race winner moved next door to the Jackie Chan/DC Racing team where Stroll is making his second Daytona start.
The young Canadian was delighted by Massa’s appearance, and at the end of the session, a final stop was made in the Acura Team Penske pits after he was waved in by Helio Castroneves.
With Paul di Resta – who stepped into Massa’s Williams last year at Hungary – in the field at United Autosports with Alonso, Daytona has its strongest F1 representation in decades with active drivers, part-timers, and a recent graduate of grand prix racing.