RIO DE JANEIRO, March 11, 2014 (AFP) - Felipe Massa can look forward to a renaissance this season following his switch to Williams after eight seasons with Ferrari, former racer Rubens Barrichello says.
Massa, who showed impressive form in Bahrain testing last week, bears the Brazilian standard for a campaign starting Sunday in Australia and Barrichello believes a change of scene will do him a power of good.
"Who knows if 2014 can't be for him what my Brawn year (2009) was for me -- one of renaissance? Sometimes a change of team can do you the power of good," Estadao de Sao Paulo and Globo Tuesday quoted Barrichello as saying.
He added: "I hope he can really turn it on, notch up some wins and fight for the title as I did that year."
It was in 2009 that the now retired veteran of a record 322 Grand Prix starts between 1993 and 2011 placed third overall for Ross Brawn's Brawn GP after the former Ferrari designer bought Honda.
Teammate Jenson Button lifted the title that same season.
Williams, 16-time world champions, endured one of their worst ever campaigns in 2013.
But Barrichello forecasts better times ahead for the team and for Massa, eighth in the driver standings last season and runner-up to Britain's Lewis Hamilton in 2008.
Massa, 11 race wins in a career spanning 191 race starts, will partner Finnish racer Valtteri Bottas at Williams.
Brazil have had three world champions -- Ayrton Senna and Nelson Piquet won three crowns each while Emerson Fittipaldi won two.
Their last title winner was Senna, in 1991, three years before the legendary driver was killed in a crash at San Marino.
Barrichello, twice a runner-up, suffered a serious injury in a practice session before the same race.