Felipe Massa has announced he will retire from the sport After fourteen seasons at the end of the season. The Brazilian who has won eleven races and forty one podiums made the announcement at Monza.
Massa alongside Williams Deputy Team Principal Claire Williams told a news conference “This will be my last season in F1.” Massa who raced for Ferrari between 2006 and 2013 missed out on the 2008 world championship by a single point.
His announcement came ten years after Michael Schumacher announced his retirement at the same circuit. Massa reviled he decided to quit “several months ago” and had not held talks with any teams – including Williams – about a deal for 2017.
Massa said he chose Monza because it was the place where Schumacher announced his first retirement. November’s season-concluding Abu Dhabi GP is set to be his 250th and last race in the sport.
Massa told the news conference “I will enjoy my last eight races in F1 as much as I’ve always done. I just want to say thank you to everybody who is around me and who have followed me in my career.”
Its been a difficult season for the Brazilian with him scoring 39 points. It’s been a career of highs and lows for Massa with him starting at Sauber before moving to Ferrari during three competitive seasons where he took all his wins and lost the 2008 title by a point.
Also Massa has experienced the lows following a crash in qualifying for 2009 Hungarian Grand Prix, when he suffered a fractured skull after being hit on the head by a suspension part from another car.
Massa was Ferrari’s second second-longest serving driver ever, behind Schumacher. “My career has been more than I ever expected and I am proud of what I have achieved,” Massa added. “Finally, it is a great honour to finish my career at such an amazing team as Williams Martini Racing.”
Williams’s Deputy Team Principal Claire Williams added “anyone who knows Felipe knows what a warm and caring person he is, with an infectious personality.”
“He has done a great deal for our sport over the years and I think every team that has had the pleasure of working with him has great affection for him. I know this has not been an easy decision for him.”
Massa replacement hasn’t been announced let but its widely expected that McLaren’s Jenson Button will return to Williams because McLaren are not expected to retain him.
But Button has not made clear whether he wants to continue in F1 or not.