Massa to re­tire from F1 – again

Autosport (UK) - - PIT + PADDOCK - LAWRENCE BAR­RETTO

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.

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