Massa to retire from F1 at the end of the 2017 season
Felipe Massa has officially announced that he will retire from Formula 1 for the second time at the end of the 2017 season having previously retired at the end of the 2016 season.
Promptly after retiring from F1 at the end of 2016, he was called back to Williams when Valtteri Bottas moved to Mercedes following the shock retirement of 2016 World Champion Nico Rosberg.
Williams have been continuously looking for several drivers for the seat alongside Lance Stroll next season. Although Massa was one of them, he has confirmed that the season finale at Abu Dhabi will be his last.
“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,” Massa said.
“I have now enjoyed four great years with the team, but my career in Formula One will finally come to an end this season. 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.”
Massa announced his retirement on an Instagram video today.
Claire Williams, Deputy Team Principal, Williams Martini Racing 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.”
The Brazilian has the sixth most starts in F1 history with 267 Grand Prix stats under his name. In his 14 and a half seasons in F1, he has raced for Sauber, Ferrari and Williams. He has managed 11 wins, 16 pole positions and 41 podiums. He also came extremely close to winning the championship in 2008, but Lewis Hamilton managed to pass Timo Glock on the final lap in Brazil and snatch the championship from Massa.