One of the most noted names in Formula1, Felipe Massa announces his retirement from the sport. He will be at the helm of a Formula1 car competitively for the last time in his 250th race at Abu Dhabi in November.
Commenting on his 14 years at the pinnacle of motorsport, Felipe Massa said: “I must start by especially thanking my wife and my father, my whole family, my manager Nicolas and all the people who have supported me throughout my career. Thank you to God for giving me the opportunities I have had in life and, above all, for protecting me.
“A huge thank you as well to everyone I have worked with over the years. Every team I have been a part of has been a special experience, and not only in Formula One. I have so many great memories over the years and thank everyone in all the teams I have come through to help me get to where I am today.”
Massa’s interest in racing dates back to when he was an 8-year-old. Like every racer, he started his journey with karting which he continued for 7 years, participating in the national and international championships. He later ascended to higher formulas and won several championships.
His love affair with Formula1 was realised when he was offered a Formula1 test by Sauber in 2000 who signed him as a driver for the 2002 season. Felipe Massa, in his rookie season scored four championship points.
He scored his first points in his second race in his rookie season and in 2003 he was signed by Ferrari as a test driver before returning to Sauber for 2004 and 2005. Ferrari then signed him as a full-time driver for the 2006 season alongside Michael Schumacher. Massa’s tenure at Ferrari which lasted till 2013 started well as he scored two wins and finished third in the driver standings.
In 2008 the Brazillian famously came close to winning the title at the final race in Brazil until the last lap where Lewis Hamilton denied him the honours by making up enough places.
Image source – Scuderia Ferrari
Felipe is also infamously known for the freak incident he was involved in 2009. At the second round of qualification in Hungary that year, he was hit by a suspension spring on his head which originated from Rubens Barrichello’s Brawn. Post this he underwent surgery and recovered to be back to racing the next year.
His performance was affected when he returned in 2010 . But, he made improvements in the following years. Massa then moved to Williams in 2014 where he partnered Valtteri Bottas at the British team. He has scored five podiums for the team till date.
“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. It will be an emotional day when I finally conclude my Formula One career with my 250th Grand Prix start in Abu Dhabi.”