Felipe Massa is set to retire at the age of 36, officially ending a 15-year long career in Formula 1 on Sunday when the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix comes to an end.
The Brazilian will go down as a great in the sport. However, Massa reflected on his long career and reeled off his top five best drivers he has had the pleasure to race against.
After being asked by AS, Massa listed the following five superstars of Formula 1.
“Fernando, the first, that’s clear.
"Schumacher, I would say is at a similar level, Hamilton also at that level.
"Next Vettel, a great driver, but at a lower level and the fifth, maybe Max Verstappen, although he lacks consistency, but has talent and speed.”
When asked about his current teammate Lance Stroll, Massa had kind words for the teenager.
“He has improved a lot since the season began until now, he has got much better but it is too early to judge him. I think he has a good future in F1, but it depends on him, in the second or third year we will see where he is.”
Although you could not argue with most of Massa's choices, some fans may be wondering what his thought process was for differentiating the five.
Alonso was the first driver Massa mentioned when asked the question, suggesting that maybe he believes the Spaniard is the best he has come up against, although it looks to be a tough decision between him and the German legend Schumacher.
Hamilton, still at the peak of his career, and yet Massa said that he is on the same level as none other than Michael Schumacher - flattering words for the Englishman.
However, probably the most surprising inclusion was 20-year-old Max Verstappen.
The Belgian-Dutch driver couldn't receive much higher praise this early in his career, words like that from a legend like Massa must do wonders for a racer's confidence.
Felipe Massa's F1 career maybe coming to an end on Sunday, but a couple of people he listed in his top five best drivers are likely to stick around for the foreseeable future.
The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix starts Sunday 26 November. The Yas Marina Circuit will be a fitting place for a legend like Felipe Massa to end his Formula 1 legacy.
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