Felipe Massa will retire from Formula 1 after 15 years in the sport at the end of this season.
The Williams driver announced his retirement earlier today, in what was an emotional press conference in front of the F1 media and family members.
“I must start by especially thanking my wife and my father, my whole family, my manager Nicolas and all the people who have supported me throughout my career,” said Massa. “A huge thank you as well to everyone I have worked with over the years.”
Massa made his Formula 1 debut with Sauber back in 2001, before moving up to Ferrari in 2004 where he was mentored – and given his chance to lead the team – by Michael Schumacher who announced his retirement at this very track in 2006.
After nearly clinching the 2008 World Championship and a near-death accident at Hungary in 2009 which put him out of the rest of the season, Massa switched to Williams in 2014 where he will end his dignified career in the sport.
“Every team I have been a part of has been a special experience, and not only in Formula One,” he added. “I have so many great memories over the years and thank everyone in all the teams I have come through to help me get to where I am today. My career has been more than I ever expected and I am proud of what I have achieved. Finally, it is a great honour to finish my career at such an amazing team as Williams Martini Racing.”
Massa’s last race will coincidentally be his 250th at Abu Dhabi later this year at the end of November. His replacement has yet to be announced, however it has ignited some elements of what otherwise looked like a stagnant driver market for 2016.
Photo Credit: XPB Images