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Nov 05

Felipe Massa confirms retirement from F1 at season’s end

“Once more, I would like to say a big thank you to everyone who has supported me throughout this time”

20170323-042Felipe Massa has confirmed he will retire from Formula 1 following the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix later this month, calling time on a 15-season career spent with Sauber, Ferrari and Williams.

Massa, 36, announced in a video on social media he would be retiring from F1 after the 2017 season, one year on from his original planned retirement that was ultimately postponed following Nico Rosberg‘s departure from the sport and Valtteri Bottas‘ move up to Mercedes.

“As everyone knows, after announcing my retirement from Formula One last year, I agreed to return this season to help Williams when the call came. I have now enjoyed four great years with the team, but my career in Formula One will finally come to an end this season,” Massa said in a statement that followed.

“Once more, I would like to say a big thank you to everyone who has supported me throughout this time: my wife and my father, my whole family, my manager Nicolas and all my friends, colleagues and sponsors. I would also like to add a huge thank you to all of the fans who have been incredibly supportive and passionate over the years.

“I take so many great memories with me as I prepare for my final two races in Brazil and Abu Dhabi, and although they will be emotional, I am looking forward to ending on a high note and preparing for a new chapter in my career.”

Williams deputy team boss Claire Williams added: “I would like to thank Felipe for all he has done for the team over the last four years. It has been an absolute pleasure to work with him. We are especially grateful that he agreed to postpone his retirement from Formula One for a year, after Valtteri joined Mercedes, which demonstrated the depth of the relationship we built during our time together.

“We appreciate that it wasn’t an easy decision for him to return, after having such an emotional send-off at the end of last year. On behalf of Sir Frank, and all the team, we give our very best wishes to Felipe for the future.”

Massa had been keen on remaining with Williams in F1 for 2018, but stressed he needed to feel wanted by the team as it openly courted the likes of Robert Kubica, Paul di Resta and Daniil Kvyat as possible alternatives.

Williams had not planned to make a decision about the second seat alongside Lance Stroll until after the season had concluded, prompting Massa to make a call on his future early so he could bid F1 farewell properly in his final two races.

source: crash.net

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