Felipe Massa gets emotional before Brazilian Grand Prix as he bids farewell

Felipe Massa could not contain his emotions in the final minutes before his 14th and last ever Brazilian Grand Prix.  Massa has raced more than 250 times in F1 and initially retired at the end of last season. But Williams hurried him back into the team just a few weeks later after Valtteri Bottas jumped ship to join Mercedes. However, earlier this month Williams confirmed he would not be returning again and they are currently considering Robert Kubica, Paul Di Resta and Jolyon Palmer as his potential replacement. “I agreed to return this season to help Williams when the call came,” Massa said on announcing his retirement.  “I have now enjoyed four great years with the team, but my career in Formula 1 will finally come to an end this season.”

And just as he did 12 months ago, Massa was today forced to say goodbye to his home race. “He sent a very emotional message to his team as he left the pit lane for his final Brazilian Grand Prix,” Sky Sports reporter Martin Brundle revealed just minutes before the race. Massa had already acknowledged that keeping his emotions in check would be difficult in his last two races. ”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 added. Williams deputy team principal Claire Williams said: “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 F1 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 [owner and team principal] Sir Frank, and all the team, we give our very best wishes to Felipe for the future.” Massa went on to achieve his best finish in 15 Grands Prix, holding off Fernando Alonso to claim seventh place.

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