Felipe Massa said earlier this year he’s happy with Williams, and wishes to remain with the team for 2017. But it appears the British team will now have to plan for life without Massa.
The Brazilian driver announced Thursday, after 14 years in Formula One, he would retire from the sport at the conclusion of the 2016 season. Massa made the announcement during a press conference at Autodromo Nazionale Monza, with team principle Claire Williams alongside him.
“Life presents us with many choices and I think for me it has got to the time where I have to go and do something different,” Massa said, via Motorsport.com. “Maybe you will see me again at the wheel of a race car, but at the moment the only certainty I have is that I will have a lot of time to decide on what I do in the future.”
Although Massa never won the world championship during his tenure in F1, for a brief moment in 2008 it looked as though he had with Ferrari. Despite narrowly missing out on the title — and narrowly escaping death — he still looks back fondly on his time at Maranello, and claims one of his former teammates with the Scuderia factored into his decision to make the announcement in Italy.
“Ten years ago in Monza, a driver announced he was leaving, too — and he is one, more than any other, that had an influence on my career: Michael Schumacher,” Massa said, via Motorsport.com.
During his time in F1, Massa has amassed 11 Grand Prix victories, 41 podiums and 16 pole positions.
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Thumbnail photo by GEPA pictures/Daniel Goetzhaber via Red Bull Content Pool