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Massa: It's going to help him here that he has a Brazilian girlfriend

Massa: "It's going to help him here that he has a Brazilian girlfriend"

13-11-2021 14:06 Last update: 14:33


Although there is currently no Brazilian driver driving in Formula 1 , the Brazilian GP is still well attended. In Sao Paulo there is a lot of support for Max Verstappen , which according to Felipe Massa is partly due to the girlfriend of the Dutchman.

Every time Verstappen flies his Red Bull around the Sao Paulo circuit, the Dutchman is cheered on by a large section of Brazilian fans. This was certainly the case during the 2016 Brazilian Grand Prix, when he finished third. He's been succesful here over the last few visits as well, finishing on top in 2019 and narrowly missing out the year before.

But according to former F1 driver Felipe Massa, that's not the only reason why the Dutchman enjoys a lot of support in the South American country. "It's going to help him here that he has a Brazilian girlfriend. Do people know that? It was even on the news here that he was visiting his in-laws," Massa told the Algemeen Dagblad .

The Brazilian is referring to Kelly Piquet, the daughter of three-time world champion Nelson Piquet with whom Verstappen has been in a relationship with since late 2020. After the Mexican Grand Prix, the Dutchman went straight to Brazil to meet his father-in-law and his extensive car collection for the first time.

Popularity battle

Despite having his in-laws with him, Lewis Hamilton has been on a charm offensive in Brazil for years. He has repeatedly said that Ayrton Senna is his role model and this week he even called the country 'his home'.

Yet according to Massa his Dutch competitor is more popular in Brazil and knows another reason why: "There is a great need for a new champion. At least with me," the former F1 driver concluded.

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