Felipe Massa will go into retirement from Formula One exactly how he wanted to after describing his last drive as “a great race”.
The Brazilian bid farewell to the competition he has served for the last 16 seasons with 10th-place finish on his 269th start, earning him a point at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Before driving his Williams car back into the garage, he did multiple donuts on the Yas Marina Circuit track and was thrilled with his result.
“I think it was a good race for me,” said Massa, who finishes the 2017 campaign joint-10th with Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg with 43 points.
“From the beginning to the end, it was a great race`and we were fighting the whole way again. I’m happy with the race and I’m very lucky to been racing in this competition for 16 years in Formula One. Driving against some of the best drivers in the world, racing with great teams and I’m very lucky to have been able to achieve that and have an amazing career.”
Massa says he will go back to Brazil and spend more time with his family but has not ruled out a return to racing in the future. A move to Formula E seems to be his next likely destination but insists he will carefully assess his options of which team to sign for.
The Brazilian had tested for Jaguar ahead of a possible drive for the 2016-17 season but was persuaded by Williams to extend his F1 career for another year following Valtteri Bottas’ move to Mercedes.
Formula E, driven with electric cars, was launched in 2014-15 by the FIA with its races held on a temporary street circuit of up to 4km long. So far, it has attracted a number of former F1 drivers including Jarno Trulli, Nick Heidfeld and Jacques Villeneuve.
With the fourth edition of the championship beginning in Hong Kong next weekend, he will have to wait at least another 12 months for an opportunity. But he says he will not rush into a decision, saying that he doesn’t want to sign up just to make up the numbers.
“Formula E wouldn’t be now as the new championship is just starting next week,” he said. “All the good teams have signed their drivers and I’m not planning to race just to be there. I want to be there in a competitive side and with a good team. That’s what I’m looking for in the next championship.
“I feel I’m competitive and I can enjoy drive in other championships. I can still race but we’ll see.”