SAO PAULO – Brazilian driver Felipe Massa of Williams Martini Racing announced on Saturday that he would retire from Formula 1 at the end of the season.
Despite making a similar announcement at the end of 2016, Massa returned to competition. This time, in a statement issued by Williams, he said he would end his F1 career for good after 15 seasons.
“As everyone knows, after announcing my retirement from Formula One last year, I agreed to return this season to help Williams when the call came,” Massa was quoted as saying. “I have now enjoyed four great years with the team, but my career in Formula One 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, 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,” he added.
The 36-year-old Massa holds the 11th spot in the 2017 Drivers’ Championship standings with 36 points, far behind this year’s winner, Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes (333 points).
Massa joined Williams in 2014 from Ferrari, helping lead that team to a third-place finish in the Constructors’ Championship standings.
The Williams team’s deputy team principal, Claire Williams, said she was delighted to have worked with Massa.
“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,” she said.
“We are especially grateful that he agreed to postpone his retirement from Formula One for a year, after Valtteri (Bottas) joined Mercedes, which demonstrated the depth of the relationship we built during our time together,” she added.
Since making his F1 debut with Sauber 15 years ago, Massa has taken part in almost 300 races.
After three years at Sauber, Massa joined Ferrari and was a teammate there of German racing legend Michael Schumacher.