Massa to retire from F1 – again
FELIPE MASSA ANNOUNCED LAST SATURDAY that he will retire from the Formula 1 cockpit at the end of the 2017 season.
Massa, a veteran of 267 grand prix starts, announced that he would quit F1 at the end of last year, but was enticed back by Williams to replace Mercedes-bound Valtteri Bottas ahead of the current campaign.
The Brazilian had said he was keen to stay on for a 16th season in F1, but would only do so with Williams. But Williams has been in no rush to announce who will partner Lance Stroll next year, with Robert Kubica, reserve Paul di Resta, Pascal Wehrlein and Massa in contention, and Toro Rosso reject Daniil Kvyat also moving onto the radar.
Massa said he was keen to know the team’s decision before his home race at Interlagos this weekend, and had become increasingly outspoken on the matter, questioning the credibility of both Kubica and di Resta as potential candidates, and the usefulness of testing them in a 2014-spec car.
It is believed that Massa had dropped down the pecking order of candidates, with Kubica and di Resta now the frontrunners.
Massa, who is expected to move to Formula E, made the decision to announce the news himself via social media. In a team statement, he later said: “As everyone knows, after announcing my retirement from Formula 1 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 1 will finally come to an end this season.
“I take so many great memories with me as I prepare for my final two races in Brazil and Abu Dhabi. Although they will be emotional, I am looking forward to ending on a high note and preparing for a new chapter in my career.”
During his 15 years competing in F1,
Massa has scored 11 wins, 41 podiums and 16 pole positions.