Felipe Massa has announced that his F1 career will be coming to an end at the conclusion of the 2017 season.
The 36-year-old Brazilian racing driver, who has 41 podiums to his name in 267 Grands Prix appearances, will bow out of the sport a year after originally scheduled, and this time, it looks like for good.
Williams brought Massa on board after Valtteri Bottas departed the team for Mercedes at the end of last season.
On his Twitter page, Massa released a video to announce his retirement, and to thank fans for their support.
He said: “I’d like to say thank you very much to all my family, all my friends, to all my sponsors, to all of my fans. You guys support me a lot. Thank you very much.”
Massa believed he could stay on for another season, but an offer of a further season has not been forthcoming from his racing team.
This has led to Massa targeting his rivals Robert Kubica and Paul di Resta for his seat in the Williams vehicle, calling on their credibility for the 2018 season.
This has caused quite a stir in the F1 world, with some feeling he has been outspoken of late about his uncertain future and his potential replacements to race alongside Lance Stroll next season.
Stroll has edged Massa in points this season, but overall, the season has been a disappointment for the former world champions.
As Massa prepares to go into the final two races of the season, in his native Brazil and Abu Dhabi, it’s clear to see that he is signing off permanently with the F1 team’s deputy team principal Claire Williams bidding him farewell.
“On behalf of Sir Frank, and all the team, we give our very best wishes to Felipe for the future,” she said.
Massa Career Highlights
Over a career spanning 15 years, Massa has won 1,160 points to date and has won 11 races, his most recent coming in 2008 at the Brazilian Grand Prix.
That was also Massa’s best season, in which he finished second on the leaderboard, only just missing out to Lewis Hamilton.
Since joining F1 in 2002, Massa has raced for Red Bull, Ferrari, and Williams, making him one of the most established names in the sport.
Fans Pay Tribute
After making his announcement on his Twitter page, F1 fans were quickly to pay their tributes to the Brazilian.
Where to Next?
Talks of moving to Formula E – the Electric Street Racing Series - are on the cards for Massa, but little has been confirmed yet. However, in September this year, Massa was interviewed by Autosport who said the switch was likely given how impressed he was at a test event.
Massa was quoted saying: “I think it’s fantastic, and I see a big future in that category for a driver, especially after F1.”
For now, it’s just a waiting game for Felipe’s fans and maybe for Felipe too.
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