"It was really heartbreaking"
Fan support stuns Wiiliams man
Felipe Massa has admitted to being blown away by the reception he received following his retirement from his final home grand prix in Brazil last weekend.
Massa, 35, was running in 13th place when he lost control of his Williams on the exit of the final corner and spun into the barriers. His car sustained heavy damage and came to rest near the pit lane entry.
After climbing from his car, Massa was greeted by applause and chants from the Brazilian fans, and later received a guard of honour from rival teams such as Mercedes and Ferrari as he walked through the pit lane with a Brazilian flag draped across his shoulders.
Massa, who will retire from grand prix racing after the season finale in Abu Dhabi later this month, said: “It was heartbreaking. I didn’t want it to finish like this. I wanted to finish with a good result for the fans, for Brazil, for my team, for me. Unfortunately I couldn’t.
“I just got in the corner and suddenly aquaplaned. I was sliding and I couldn’t stop the car. When I hit the wall, it just pushed me to the inside and maybe the suspension broke and then I had another big crash on the other side. Maybe God knows what to do, to stop me in the place to be in front of my fans. I had an amazing feeling with the fans and I couldn’t stop crying.
“Then, I didn’t imagine the reaction in the pitlane. Teams I didn’t even work for, like Mercedes, it was very human the reaction. I had so much love from the people, from other teams clapping their hands for me. It’s a day that will be impossible to forget and an amazing feeling. I don’t think I deserve so much like this.”
Massa will end his 15-year F1 career on his 250th GP start, and has been a winner in his home event twice – including the 2008 instalment when he lost the world championship in the final corner.
Massa walked back to the pits Accident left Massa in front of his supporters, who rose