Massa announces he will retire from F1 this year

2016 F1 season

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Felipe Massa will end his 15-year career in Formula One this season, the Williams driver has confirmed.

Massa, who arrived in F1 as a 20-year-old in 2002, has spent the last three seasons of his career at the British team.

He spent the bulk of his career with Ferrari, winning 11 races with the team between 2006 and 2013. He finished second in the world championship in 2008 after an emotional finale at his home race in Brazil where he won but was powerless to stop Lewis Hamilton snatching the title on the final lap.

The following year Massa was seriously injured when he was hit by a piece of debris during qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix. He missed the rest of the season, and spent four more years with Ferrari before being dropped by the team.

Massa announced his impending retirement in a press conference at Monza ahead of this weekend’s Italian Grand Prix.

“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,” he said. “Thank you to God for giving me the opportunities I have had in life and, above all, for protecting me.”

“A huge thank you as well to everyone I have worked with over the years. Every team I have been a part of has been a special experience, and not only in Formula One.”

“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. It will be an emotional day when I finally conclude my Formula One career with my 250th Grand Prix start in Abu Dhabi.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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129 comments on “Massa announces he will retire from F1 this year”

  1. Let’s hope he doesn’t join Villeneuve and Webber (and myself right now) in moaning after he leaves

    1. @mayrton Yes, let’s totally not ask very experienced men how they feel about something they are very passionate about. I also hate when the weather man tells us what temperature it’s going to be.

      1. Do you reckon somewhere there’s a website about weathermen? With the older one’s being quoted saying “It’s not like it used to be”.

        1. @mike there should be. Climate change is important issue… :)

      2. Fair point

    2. @mayrton oh just like you’re moaning right now? I’m not a massa fan but you can hide behind your keyboard and say what you want, would you say that if you were at the press conference? I’m thinking not.

      1. Point taken. Still I hope he won’t do it

    3. @mayrton I’d not put Villeneuve’s moans in the same line to Webber’s…

    4. He doesn’t seem to me to be the guy to moan about things @mayrton. Apart from maybe Singapore 2008, where it turned out to be quite appropriate, and maybe 2012 when he kept tangling with Hamilton over and over again.

  2. I think that it’s the right decision. He was a great driver in his prime and was as good as Hamilton and better than Raikkonen in 2008. A shame about the crash in 2009 because after that he was not the same. A good career for him nonetheless.

    1. How exactly was Massa “as good” as Lewis in 2008? Lewis was a rookie with 1yr experience, whilst Massa already had 5 yrs experience on him by that time. Furthermore, the F2008 was a better than the MP4-23, but Massa still managed to lose the title – even when his main rival was robbed of a clear win.

      Massa is a good driver, but he was never anything special – 2008 or not.

      1. Singapore 2008? Who’s win was that before crash gate and idiot in Ferrari pit who gave the green light when fuel hose was still on? Hungary 2008? Who’s engine died while in the lead? Massa’s or the Ham?

        1. And Turkey/Silverstone where he couldn’t keep his car pointing in the right direction while Hamilton was busy lapping the entire field by over half a minute?

          1. He won at Turkey in 2008. And if you watched the race or the race report of Silverstone, you would have known there was a technic issue with his Ferrari’s suspension…

      2. Yeah, let’s blame him for Ferrari’s show on Singapore or his engine giving up in Hungary when he was leading, 2 laps away from the finish line. Sure, was totally his fault.

      3. Massa, on a good day, is a ridiculously quick driver. On a bad day he skates off the track upside down in a shower of sparks and carbon fiber.

        In 2008, he lacked consistency– He’d be uncatchable at one race, and finish 8th in the next race.

        He’s never managed to be consistently fast, and stay out of trouble on the opening lap.

      4. The MP4-23 and the F2008 were not better than the other – pretty equal actually. And the only reason why McLaren was far behind Ferrari at the end of the season was because Kovalainen was not very good. And Massa was as good. Remember Canada 2008? When Hamilton crashed in the pit lane? Or Bahrain 2008? When he crashed into Alonso? Both made mistakes that season, but they were both the class of the field and evenly matched.

        1. That’s the point: Kovalainen was the worst driver in a top team during the last decade, with his sole victory coming in the 2008 Hungarian GP when Hamilton and Massa were out of contention.

          Kovalanein’s poor performances made McLaren look worse than it was in fact, and spared Hamilton from an intra-team batte, while Massa was busy fighting the defending champion on equal cars.

    2. I rate Massa as high as Button, Raikonen, Barrichello, Rosberg, etc. You need some luck, consistency and not having an outstanding drive as team mate (Alonso, Hamilton, Schumacher) to be an world champion, that’s the only major difference between those names.

      I think his problem wasn’t the accident but the rising of tire degradation since 2008 and ahead. As much tire degradation increased, he started to be slower and less consistent. You can see that very clearly in almost every race since 2009.

      1. Agreed.
        Imagine if instead of Hamilton, Rosberg had someone like Di Resta as a team mate with this all conquering machines.

        The guy would be a 3 times world champion and regarded as one of the finest drivers ever.

        I like Mika Hakkinen but i see him on this level.
        He had the luck Rosberg doesn’t have.

      2. Your argument doesn’t make sense. Lewis didn’t win a title when he was with Button nor the other way around. Alonso is not wiping the floor with Button the way he did with Massa, Massa easily beat Kimi despite Kimi being a WDC.

        Button had a decent car advantage at the beginning of his title year but none at all by the end of it and still managed to win.

        No one wins a race in F1 by accident and rarely by luck. No one lucks into a title. It’s won over a season.
        Stop with these ridiculous comparisons. Until everyone drives exactly the same car you cannot compare drivers.

        1. That’s not what he meant. Of course, a title is won over a season, but you definitely need a bit of luck. And by that, both me and Miane don’t mean pure luck. The fact for instance that Button somehow ended up in a Brawn GP car that nobody beforehand expected to be even remotely able to fight for wins, that’s the kind of luck we mean.

          Look at today’s grid: I sincerely believe that at least half of the drivers can become world champions someday, including Wehrlein, Verstappen and Hulkenberg. They’re just not in the right car at the moment, although at least one of them is quite close.

          And actually, the comparisons you made are very valid. You can compare two drivers in the same team and also reflect on their performance against other teammates, just like your example with Massa, Kimi and Button.

          To conclude: you also have drivers who are great winners by leading the pack, but lack the overtaking quality and are never able to work their way through the field when they start mid-field or further back. Among those are Rosberg and Vettel, look at any of the past races in which they started further back than usual and they almost never recover from that the way others can. Like Hamilton, Raikkonen and Alonso. That’s one of the reasons they’re often mentioned as one of the current great F1 drivers.

        2. I don’t think that there’s so much to compare in Alonso and Button at McLaren. There’s so much car problems and limitations. In 2008 at Honda Rubens ended with 11 points and Button just 3. One year later Button won the champioship having Barrichello as Team Mate. I think you can only compare drivers when both are on good cars. This also demonstrates how Drivers luck and driving styles affect their performances. Of course luck is not the main factor, if Massa was a better driver, even with his bad luck, he could have scored that 1 point he missed to be a champion.

  3. I hope he keeps racing somewhere else, maybe a bit of Le Mans could be on the cards? Anyhoo, he will be missed, but making space for the younger upcoming talents isnt a bad thing.

    1. Maybe he’s going to be replaced by Button.

    2. He’s interested in Formula E too, he would join the ranks of ex F1 drivers in the series.

    3. Maybe Formula E or IndyCar? Many Brazilian veteran drivers have ended up driving in IndyCar.

      1. @huhhii – Felipe is a family man and has been an avid advocate for safety, so I don’t see him going anywhere near open-wheel oval racing. Bruno Senna reportedly ruled out IndyCar for the same reason. Brazilian stockcars would be my tip, but there are plenty of WEC and GT drives if Felipe wants to remain a part of European motor-racing.

        1. @william-brierty I think there are or at least have been drivers in IndyCar who don’t do ovals and switch seat with oval-specialist when necessary. Ed Carpenter only races at ovals, right? So Massa could very well share a car with him.

          1. Massa would also be perfect in the mix with Ed Carpenter Racing.

            As far as his race seat goes – I hope Rossi could take a vacated seat. Hopefully he get a call.

            But on the other hand: We wish him the best. But I would love to see him for a one-off at the Indy 500.

          2. @huhhii – Granted, Massa would be a perfect partner for Carpenter given Pigot’s toils and the inevitability of Newgarden being snapped up by IndyCar’s powerhouses.

            That said, I just don’t sense that Massa wants to start an all new racing adventure. Yes, Barrichello raced IndyCars for a season after his retirement and, despite not being retained for a second season, did a mightily respectable job, but Rubens never gave the impression that racing and family were in tension, whereas I just sense that Massa feels he owes his family more of his time.

            Championships like IndyCar, WEC and Formula E are intensive, and I just sense Massa is looking for something more part-time, like an ambassadorial or GT role.

  4. Whether it was his decision or the team’s, it’s the right call. Felipe has had a career that many drivers couldn’t dream of, driving for Ferrari and Williams and holding his own (most of the time) against a long line of fast team-mates, including Villeneuve, Frentzen, Schumacher, Raikkonen, Alonso and Bottas.

    He hasn’t quite been the same since his accident (and Germany 2010… if that had an effect on him, which I believe it did) and now is the right time to go. Well done Felipe and thanks for the memories; Brazil 2008 being my highlight.

    As for who replaces him at Williams, I could see Button or Perez, with the team probably preferring Perez if they can pry him from Force India. Looking forward to seeing who they sign on…

    1. What about a rookie? Any chance they sign Stroll or Lynn?

      But with Vandoorne probably getting promoted at McLaren, Button is the most likely contender.

      1. @paeschli – Stroll is still a bit green, but could reportedly make his debut with Manor next year, Lynn clearly hasn’t done enough in GP2 and is being linked with Formula E, and increasingly Button is being linked with retirement. Perez and Nasr are currently the hot candidates, Nasr especially.

        1. Massa being replaced by Nasr is replacing a boring driver with an even more boring driver.

          I really like the current Force India line up, my dream would be:
          Hulkenberg – Perez at FI
          Magnussen – Ocon at Renault
          Bottas – Button at Williams
          Vandoorne – Alonso at McLaren

          But I think Perez will sign with Renault sadly enough.

          1. @paeschli – I agree to all of that. That would be my ideal scenario too – plus a Gutierrez-Leclerc swap at Haas. I particularly think Renault would be crazy not to measure Ocon against a driver already established with the team, and in Magnussen I think they have an excellently capable, intelligent young driver. I personally don’t think Perez would be a great step up over Magnussen.

          2. The replacement is probably chosen already, but I don’t think it’s Button. Claire said Button would be a good name for the team, but I don’t remember reading Button saying Williams would be a good team for him. He certainly faced the dillemma: stay with McLaren Honda, which he helped to build and improve, or go to Williams, which is in decline and may lose the Petrobras sponsorship?

          3. @lubhz I think you’re being generous to Jenson in suggesting that he has the choice to remain with McLaren.

          4. Well we do not know if McLaren want Button next year, but at the moment the engine is not quick enough….and reliability is still an issue… when Honda make it quicker, how long then before its reliable….and with Button knowing what is to come…….does he want McLaren for another year of misery… Williams has to be a possibility……

    2. @ben-n Massa is a good driver, but saying that he held his own, even most of the time, against Alonso and Schumacher is not true

  5. He can leave with his head held high. Great driver, seems to be a good guy too. It’s better when storied drivers can announce it like this so their careers can be celebrated rather than hanging on too long like Rubens.

  6. Such a shame that F1 will lose a great guy like Felipe. On the other hand, I think he chose the right time to retire and make room for younger drivers. Maybe he wanted to get the taste of next year’s cars, but I think he fell out of options and could only do so if running by a weaker team.
    Anyways, brilliant career. He does not have a World title on paper, but after all he’s been through he sure is a champion!!

    1. LovelyLovelyLuffield
      1st September 2016, 17:14
      Time to pass on the torch. Felipe Jr. would make for a great driver, I reckon, much like his father, maybe even better.

  7. A mature, realistic decision from one of nicest stalwarts of the F1 paddock.

    I hope he will look back on his career with pride: brought in from the cold by Ferrari, sculpted into a driver that was champion for twenty seconds and, with Williams, competitive against an up-and-coming youngster. Indeed, he was leading Bottas in the standings for much of the European season last year. It is only really this year that his form has begun to slide.

    It is a sobering announcement for Alex Lynn, who should have been there to capitalize on Massa’s retirement, but thanks to an underwhelming 2016 GP2 campaign, is being linked with Jaguar’s Formula E squad (making Nasr favourite to take Massa’s seat). Pity, given the consistent promise and maturity Lynn has shown, and more so given the positive impression he has made in the tests he has conducted.

    1. Hopefully this silly “champion for 20 seconds” stuff retires along with him. Or should we start calling Nico Rosberg “2016 champion for 4 months”?

      1. I don’t believe I ordered a semantic killjoy. The fact is Massa crossed the line of the last lap of the last race of the season as provisional champion, to mass celebration for the Brazilian crowd, only to be relegated in the championship seconds later. Quite different to simply being championship at a random point in the season.

        1. You didn’t “order” anything. You gave your opinion, and I have mine. That being the point of a comment section. No need for the ad hominems.

          It matters because frequently it goes along with thinking Massa deserved the win and Hamilton somehow unfairly took it away. See the whole Glock conspiracy and, already in these threads, reference to Singapore (nothing to do with Hamilton). Note, since you’re so keen on semantics, that I don’t say you necessarily subscribe to this line of thinking

          Secondly, yes, at the time it was important that it was the last race of the season, because millions of people thought he won. But they were wrong. It’s a perfect illustration of “it ain’t over till it’s over” and, with hindsight, no more significant that he led across the line than leading at any other random point before the end of the season.

          1. Firstly I didn’t order a killjoy in the same way Massa wasn’t champion when he crossed the line – in both cases people could have been mistaken for thinking that.

            Secondly, just because a sentimental sporting idiom might not be fully accurate it doesn’t warrant being shot down in flames – especially when you are calling people out for as obvious a procedural misdemeanour as calling a result before all cars crossed the line. Yes, Massa was technically never champion, but that doesn’t mean you need to be pedantic about my reminiscing of the few seconds when the whole world thought he was champion.

          2. @william-brierty Let’s both celebrate a great person, a great driver. One that for 20 seconds had everything he ever wanted.

            It’s sentimental, but, I really love Massa, that was, one of the greatest and worst moments I’ve seen in F1.

        2. @william-brierty @Gwan I never understand this champion for 20 seconds thing too. 1) Points are awarded after all drivers are classified (or confirmed as not classified) which means Massa got his points at the same time as Hamilton and others, not the instant he cross the finish line. And this not accounting a possible changes in the result if someone launch a protest to the result. 2) Even before the race, it’s clear that Massa could only be champion if he won and Hamilton finished 6th or lower. The key word is finished, not his position when Massa cross the line. The fact that his side celebrated so quickly without even making sure of Hamilton result is just arrogant.

          1. @sonicslv No one is saying he was literally the champion, obviously.

            The meaning is that, when he crossed the line, to many who were watching, it looked as if he were the champion. For about 20 seconds.

            I don’t think it’s arrogant at all to celebrate what you think is your favorite winning. It’s incredibly condescending to say so.

          2. @sonicslv This isn’t something I would normally quote because it’s simply a stupidly written rule that doesn’t make any sense.

            But since you brought it up: The rules at the time stated that the FIA Formula One season ends as soon as the winner of the final race crosses the finish line.

            So, while this paragraph in the rule book is stupid, explicitly claiming the opposite is not correct either.

          3. The meaning is that, when he crossed the line, to many who were watching, it looked as if he were the champion. For about 20 seconds.

            @mike That exactly what I don’t understand. I watch it live, I never has the impression of Massa becoming a world champion for 20 seconds. You know what I did when Massa cross the line? Eagerly waited for when Hamilton crossed the line itself to know how the WDC ends.

            Also celebrating early is arrogant because it means they (the one who partied) doesn’t acknowledge that the other guy is still fighting and have the skill to overturn the result, which actually happened. A smaller scale is if someone has a big gap on first Q3 run for pole and he get out of his car and starts celebrating the pole. Don’t you think it’s arrogant (and foolish), because another driver might’ve beaten his time on second run but he not even acknowledging such driver exist?

          4. @sonicslv

            You’re talking about Brazilian fans, on the start finish straight, watching their man win his home grand prix with Lewis in a position (to their knowledge) that’d give them the title.

            You want them to sit patiently and wait until Lewis crosses the line?

            Really? Is that really what you expect a home crowd to do?

            Good god you must be fun at parties.

  8. Quite sad that such a driver never won a world championship, but undoubtledly one of the nicest drivers in the paddock.

  9. I think Massa has chosen the right time to go. Though ‘chosen’ may be a bit generous: his contract already expired at the end of this season, and having scored just three points to his team mate’s 33 over the last eight races, I can’t imagine Williams were offering him very good terms.

    Nonetheless, I will always remember his classy composure after Interlagos 2008.

    1. @keithcollantine And when compared to Lewis or Vettel or Alonso sure he wasn’t the best among the field. But let us not forget many F1 drivers would kill for the career he has had. Winning 11 races is hardly a thing every rookie gets to do and standing on the podium some 40+ times is a thing many would dream about.

      1. @xtwl If you can level a criticism at Massa it’s that many of his contemporaries, Button, Webber, Montoya even Heidfeld, could have performed as well or even better had they received the same opportunities that were afforded to Massa by Ferrari.

        1. @william-brierty – Another criticism I suppose that could be leveled is consistency. One race he looked unbeatable, the next clouded by poor judgement or rookie mistakes. Sometimes both within the same race. Though when he was on, he was on.

          My overall thoughts of Massa and his racing career is redemption, one of my favorite human interest stories. Coming back to any form of racing after his accident is a testament of will, desire and skills. Especially to come back to the pinnacle of motor racing.

          1. @bullmello – An accurate if not slightly harsh criticism. Massa’s inconsistencies are symptomatic of a driver right at the extremes of their abilities; it might sound a touch harsh to say it but Massa received opportunities that his raw abilities could not fully justify.

            Some drivers are naturally better than others and Massa was never heading lists of driver quality. Massa was probably the 2009 preseason title favourite, but even then you would have been hard pressed to find a pundit or paddock sage with Felipe as their top performer. And that is why Massa can be so proud of his career: in many ways he outperformed his natural performance level. In 2002 he was not a driver who was going to win nine races and have a run at the title, and even as Ferrari’s new boy in 2006, such a destiny looked in doubt.

        2. Among those, only Heidfeld and perhaps Montoya could say they didn’t get the same chance.

          Massa never had a car as dominant as Button in 2009 or Webber in 2011 and 2013, and faced three world champion team-mates at Ferrari, beating one of them.

          Of his less sucessful contemporaries, only Kubica and perhaps Trulli would have performed better with the same car. Can’t think of anyone else.

          On the current grid, Grosjean and Perez, but that’s not Ferrari’s opinion, that instead kept Kimi, the former world champion beaten by Massa…

    2. @keithcollantine At least he doesn’t desperately want to hang on to his F1 career like a certain fellow countryman did. Did Barrichello ever officially announce his retirement?

      1. Michael Brown (@)
        1st September 2016, 20:50

        I don’t think so. He went into the last race uncertain, and so there was no ceremony held for him at the last race.

        Compare that to Schumacher, who drove a lap before his final race with a flag, and celebrated his retirement after the race.

      2. @maarten-f1 I think that’s a bit harsh. Rubens didn’t want to leave F1 because he loved it so much. To shoot him down for that is, I think, not really fair.

  10. I think Perez would be making a mistake by going to Williams, Force India’s momentum is up, whereas Williams’s is down.

    1. He should either stay at Force India or go to Renault if that really is an option for him as Renault is a manufacturer team with a ”works” PU as opposed to Force India being both a privateer and a PU-customer team.

  11. As with his exit from Ferrari, the likeable Brazilian is being given the chance to leap before he is pushed out.

    Thanks for the memories Felipe.

    1. Well said. And indeed, thank you Felipe for having us enjoy a lot of emotional moments with you.

  12. It’s a shame :(, always thought he was a great driver; however he was never the same after that accident. His was in his prime between 06 and 08.

    Remember he was world champion for a “few seconds” in 2008.

    And also won of the nicest guys in the F1 paddock.


    1. Felipe can know that he was world driving champion for longer (~ 20 sec), than Nico with 20 Grand Prix victories (0 sec)

  13. So.. Stoffel Vandoorne to Williams?

    1. Haha why not?

    2. Now, that’s the thing, I don’t think Mclaren will let him go. So, maybe Button?

  14. Harsh to say maybe, but TBPF and IMHO, Massa’s talent was not worthy of the long career he had. Just the right nationality for sponsors, Ferrari’s support driver system, and Smedley’s friendship kept an average and error prone driver in F1 which ought to have ended after his Sauber days.

    1. @balue Harsh, yes. Also incorrect.

    2. @balue had it ended after his Sauber spell (or better, after only his rookie season), no one would have blinked an eye, but see, the fact in the following three years he won eleven races, keeping, at times, the likes of Schumacher and Raikkonen humble in equal machinery, would have, in hindsight, made it a bad decision. And in 2009 and the first half of 2010 he was still as good, at which point his presence in F1 was granted on merit, and he wasn’t old yet. The fact in the following six years he only managed a single pole position is down to various factors (to name one, Williams weren’t battling for race wins), and undoubtedly had he performed like that since the beginning he wouldn’t have lasted long. But what best describes Massa’s career is the word “journey”. He started slowly despite impressing in junior formulae, got up to speed, became one of the quickest drivers on the grid and then – after the accident – declined just as quickly. The last race doesn’t define him, nor does his first GP: what does is his attitude on and off track, which led him to take some satisfaction in terms of success, being universally appreciated amongst the paddock and even lasting so long in F1.

      1. The simple truth is that many drivers can win in a winning car, but that doesn’t reflect on them as it’s mostly about the car in F1 which we all know. We also know that any team mate of any great was able to better them on good days, but again doesn’t really mean they are as good.

        My point was not that Massa was a poor driver, it was that he was an average driver (by F1 standards) who made a lot of mistakes and his talent didn’t warrant the career he had and I’m not about eulogizing here.

        1. He wasn’t a natural, but worked hard, kept improving and coped very well with pressure. He drove a faultess race at Interlagos in 2008, with sky-high expectations.

  15. Sad to hear but not a big surprise. He is my favourite driver, he was so close to that 2008 title. Felipe was never the fastest nor best driver on the grid though was always very likeable and loyal to the people around him. I hope he give us one more moment to remember over the remaining races. I will always remember him very positively.

    Now I hope Button replaces him at Williams and Vandoorne finally gets a seat in F1 at McLaren. I will be really disappointed if Lynn, Stroll or Nasr got to drive a Williams next year, they clearly don’t deserve it.

  16. I always liked Massa, he seems to be one of the nicest and down to world people in the paddock, its quite fun also to follow him in the social media (Ricciardo race with his son probably had better rates than some races this year). But I can help but feel that we saw 2 racing drivers, one before and after the accident. And he probably felt that way, we saw some moments of frustration when he returned.

    It was only by a few seconds, but I will remember him as a champion, that podium in Interlagos was beautiful

  17. i think it is quite sweet that he decided to make the announcement at this race in emulating Michael Schumacher.
    Very classy formula 1 is going to miss felipe.

  18. Not really surprising. Massa, post injury, was always a little inconsistent; great on some days, seemingly non-existent on others. He seemed like a good guy and a great father; I always thought it was great that he had his son with him so much in the paddock. It seemed like the folks at Ferrari were genuinely sad to see him leave; a vibe I didn’t get when Alonso left.
    I always wondered how things would have been different if he had won the championship in 08. I wonder what series he will go to now.
    So now the dominoes start to fall:
    Massa retires; Button ousted from McLaren in favor of VanDoorne; Button to Williams; 2018, Button retires from F1.

  19. The best time and place to make the announcement, still has a lot of love from the Tifosi. Not the same racer post Hungary 2009 but before that could match the best. He was unstoppable at Turkey, there was also that season that Lewis and him could not go to a race without colliding (not 2008). Lots of F1 moments and a genuinely nice guy that will be missed by all.

    Always remember… Felipe baby, stay cool!

    1. “there was also that season that Lewis and him could not go to a race without colliding (not 2008)”

      That would be 2011 @aveenr

  20. It’s the right time for him. I can see the IndyCar, WEC and Stock Car Brasil rumours flying imminently. I hope Williams use this opportunity to bring in a feisty young driver. There are plenty within F1 without contracts for next year (Daniil Kvyat, Kevin Magnussen immediately spring to mind) and there are a few within their development ranks too (Alex Lynn and Lance Stroll). I’ve also seen Felipe Nasr (would be pushing well above his weight), Jenson Button (would Williams pay that much for an ageing ex-champion?) and Sergio Perez (a sidestep move at the very best) all mentioned as well.

    As for Massa, I was never a fan of his, but I have a lot of respect for him, especially with how he handled tough situations in 2008, 2009 and 2010.

  21. Button to Williams, Vandoorne in at McLaren then?

    1. I was thinking exactly the same thing..

      1. I was thinking of Button one more year to see if car is good and had one proper year fighting for podiums and maybe wins and Van to Williams to get some more miles in F1 before his jump to McLaren. Button is still on top of the game and Van won’t lose nothing in Williams for a year and Botas could be proper test for him.

        1. @dex022 What would be the point in that? Vandoorne is more than ready to replace Button. Has been for two years really.

        2. I think next year rules would fit better Massa than Button. All this tire degradation thing fits better Button driving style than Massa.

    2. I do not see Button at Williams, they can’t pay him that much.

      1. he isn’t making “that much” anymore at Mclaren.

        To close the deal with Williams he may ask even less.

        1. But William needs someone that brings a sponsor.

  22. Always sad to see such a great personality leaving the ranks.

    Felipe has been one of those drivers I’ve loved over the years, passionate, has had great drives, and has had some shockers.

    My heart broke for him at Interlagos when he had the WDC snatched from him on the last lap, I feared for him when he was struck by the spring. He was a driver that you couldn’t help but like given his demeanour throughout his carreer.

    Thanks Felipe, you will be missed, at least by me, and congratulations on choosing to leave us at just the right time.

    1. Well said. Sorry to see Flippy go, he was always one of the more likable drivers in the paddock.

  23. He has definitely chosen the right time to go. Some people know when to stop (Webber, Massa); some don’t (Barrichello). Also, Williams are slipping back to 5th place now and the downward slide will continue given that next year, chassis will be important again and not just engine. And Felipe clearly had no openings in the teams expected to be near the top next year – Mercedes, Mclaren, Ferrari, Red Bull.
    At least, he will be relaxed these last few races and have the freedom to enjoy his last home race to the fullest, I hope he races in those green overalls he had for the 2006 race!

    I think Button to Williams, Stoffel to Mclaren

  24. Really glad to see that other F1 fanatics are paying him the respect he so deserves and recognizing that he never truly recovered 100% from the injury. At the end of his last season with Alonso, he did outqualify him and that’s a pretty impressive statistic as many of us regard Alonso highly.

    1. I forgot to mention that we were all glad he recovered from the injury without any serious side-effects and that he can definitely leave F1 with his head held up high. He won 11 races, has 41 podiums, won 16 poles, raced for Ferrari, and was runner up in what will always be remembered as the most dramatic end of a F1 season.

    2. I think his problem wasn’t the accident but the rising of tire degradation since 2008 and ahead. As much tire degradation increased, he started to be slower and less consistent. Also, having Alonso as team mate after the accident was the worst situation for a comeback for sure.

      1. Yes, it wasn’t the accident alone. His first race since comeback he started and finished second. He led the championship after round 2. Had some bad luck, dominated at Hockenheim and was told to move out of the way. I guess at that point he started thinking more at the lost chance of 2008 rather than taking a new opportunity. And since Pirelli came in there was no new opportunity.

  25. Prediction: Button to either stay at McLaren or retire and Nasr to Williams. I just can’t see Button wanting to spend the last year or two of his career at Williams given that they are currently on the decline.

  26. It’s a sad day for Brazilian motorsport. I know that Massa was never able to reenact the golden days for Brazil in F1 (which are long gone now), but he, just like Barrichello, had his talent and was able to promote Brazilian motorsport, having a successful, decent career with several GP wins, and having driven for top teams. Next year could be the first in many, many years where there’s no Brazilian in a relevant position in F1, or worse, none at all (given that Nasr isn’t guaranteed anywhere).

    I confess that, in recent times Massa was not giving us Brazilians a lot of joy, but he was responsible for many emotional moments, and for that I am truly grateful to him. Two stand out for me personally, his first win in Brazil in 2006, reenacting Senna on home turf, and Brazil 2008 again, where I experienced the ultimate heart break, but he was so gracious in defeat, that made me even prouder. Many Brazilians don’t regard him or Barrichello highly given that they were not champions, but the problem was that our bar was always so high after the likes of Fittipaldi, Piquet and Senna, it was always going to be unfair to them, but I truly respect both, and in that way, Massa was the closest thing we had to a champion after Senna (for at least 30 seconds).

    Now that I am recalling those moments, I am a bit sad, but also thankful, and inspired by how the sport can touch us and make us emotional. That’s why I love F1, always have, and always will, because we can be inspired by drivers that put their heart out and give everything they have to win races. Massa, in his good days, was one good example, and I thank him for all the good memories, specially those two that I will certainly remember for the rest of my life.

  27. As many have said, this is the right time for him to be going, it still makes me very sad to see a driver like him leave. I always saw him as one of the “good guys”, as he is one of the cleanest on track and seems to have one of the best attitudes off track. One of my most vivid and treasured memories of F1 is the way he dealt with his defeat in 2008, it must be so painful to come that close yet still have it slip through your fingers, but he composed himself with a true dignity and sportsmanship that seems to be quite rare in modern F1. Even though I was delighted that Hamilton had won, Felipe won a lot of respect from me that day, as well as man other F1 fans.

    Even though the remainder of his career never quite lived up to his 2008 season, the way he drove in that season has to go down as one of the best seasons ever driven by a driver who didn’t go on to win the championship.

    It’s always a shame to say goodbye to a driver who’s given a lot to the sport, but he’ll definitely be remembered as one of the classiest drivers of the modern era.

  28. Pleased to hear that he has been able to announce the departure. It’s much better to go out this way, rather than come January finding there’s no seat left for you.

    It’s sad that his career didn’t bring him more success. Narrowly missing out in 2008, the accident in 2009, losing his potential race win in Germany 2010, and beyond that he was just that little bit too slow to win races when the opportunities arose. Then he moved to Williams, who (as I said the other day), have been a disappointment after looking so promising, failing to deliver when Mercedes stumbled. When I remember that he hasn’t actually won a race since 2008 it does make my heart sink a bit, Massa does deserve recent wins in many ways. Nevertheless few F1 drivers are even able to have a career that long, with wins and podiums, so he can leave with his head held high. Fair play to Massa, it’s been great watching him compete, and a very sporting way to retire too.

  29. It was sad to see Barrichello go, because despite his age he was still competitive and able to beat his teammates. It was evident even back then that he was better than both Maldonado and Senna. A 20th season was well within his abilities and going by his results he deserved it. Retiring after his 20th season would have left a much better aftertaste for many people and would have been much more fulfilling. Williams made yet another characteristic stupid mistake of theirs by ditching him and going into 2012 with that abysmal lineup. F1 lost one of its great characters in a completely undeserving way.
    And Massa? True, I saluted after his win at the Brazilian GP in 2008, because he did everything he could there. His was the drive of a champion while Lewis was nowhere during the race. In that year he deserved the championship more than any other driver. But after seeing his results in the following years his retirement felt long overdue. All I feel now is “at last!”. I just wish Williams would have sticked up for Barrichello the same way instead of Massa.

  30. So long Felipe, and just remember: “Valteri is not faster than you”

  31. Goodbye to one of the fastest hotlappers. Of all time?

    1. @faulty What!? Which time-zone would that be?

      1. I think it was schumacher who said that. That his one lap pace was stunning.

  32. Thanks Felipe for all this years of fair race. Good luck!

    1. Not really that much of a fair driver either. Hypocrite is another quality of his, for those who read the portuguese and english interviews.

  33. I’d love to see Kvyat get this seat, he is very good & underestimated!

    1. Hello, Kvyat :)

  34. Massa was never a top driver but it was above the average for sure. I think his problem wasn’t the accident but the rising of tire degradation since 2008 and ahead. As much tire degradation increased, he started to be slower. Also, having Alonso as team mate after the accident was the worst situation for a comeback for sure.

    Unfortunately I think next year would be a lot better for him to end his career, all those rule changes could match better his driving style.

  35. Never the fastest guy but one of the most reliable ones out there. Like a better Rosberg.
    Gutted as a Ferrari fan he never rose to pre 2009 levels after his Hungary crash.

    At least he isn’t sticking around like a certain other Brazilian who drove for the scarlet red.

  36. YES, Yes, yes, yes, yes. I don’t like to see drivers that don’t belong, year after year taking, seats from upcoming drivers, but perhaps most importantly I don’t like to see bias.

  37. “Not bad for a number two driver” remains the highlight :)

    Joking aside, I think it’s a timely call unlike his good friend Rubens. I’ll remember Felipe as a decent driver with flashes of brilliance (for me Hungary 2008 stood out) and then some moderate performances around it. He is a proven race winner and definitely 2008 was his highlight year. He stood fairly well especially against MSc and Kimi.

    Hungary 2009 remains the worst and we can only speculate the effect it had on his speed post the accident. Germany 2010 was another low moment where people saw a repeat of Rubens’ Austria 2002 affair and were disappointed (including myself).

    For me his glory moments

    Strong 2006 season especially US and Germany where he had the speed to win I believe.
    Matched and nearly eclipsed Kimi in 2007 until the last part of the season.
    2008 was the highlight year with Hungary being a career highlight, Valencia, Singapore and of course, Brazil!

    Low moments

    Australia 2008
    Britain 2008
    Hungary 2009
    2010, 2011 and 2013 seasons

    Wish him luck!

  38. While Massa’s driving has generally been choppy and become more so post 2009, there is no denying he has class. We saw it on the podium in 2008 and now we see it again. Loyal, caring, warm, a man who makes a great friend/family. Ferrari was certainly more cut up about Massa leaving than Alonso leaving. Choosing the Monza weekend for this announcement is a lovely gesture by Massa. Hope to see the team and the fans return the gesture.

    1. and the driver market finally shakes out and makes sense, Button to willams and van dorne to mclaren

  39. Good. One of the least interesting drivers of the last 2 decades.

    So good he didn’t luck into ‘that’ championship; yet it gave us one of the most memorable moments in F1 history and possibly the best drive in his lacklustre career.

    Filipe : “Most drivers are quicker than you.”

    Be glad to see the back of his cling-on “hey, my brothers an F1 driver” brother…

  40. Felipe, a true sportsman and a great driver, will be missed. He’s one of the more humble drivers, both on and off the track from his charity work in his native Brazil, to his respect for others in wheel to wheel combat. Very few would have conceded victory at Hockenheim six years ago or at Interlagos in ’07 and taken it on the chin. He’s been at the mercy of team orders far to often in his career for someone of his decency, race craft and speed. I reckon the year when he learnt the most was the one he spent on the sidelines in ’03. After a crash strewn season in the non-competitive Sauber, the time spent in the Ferrari garage learning from his mentor Schumacher, and seeing how a champion would operate on a race weekend in and out of the car, gave Felipe the composure needed to put his mind on the right path and end his erratic tendencies.

    In his prime at Bahrain and Turkey, and of course Brazil, the guy was utterly invincible. He was one of the few drivers who could take a particular race by the scruff of the neck much like what you’d see nowadays from Hamilton at Silverstone or Vettel at Singapore. Interlagos ’08, irrespective of the overall outcome, was his finest moment. Not the technical champion on points, but arguably the moral champion that year taking into account the shenanigans in the Singapore pits and the Hungary engine failure.

    One of the best metrics to judge a racing driver by, performance aside, is the adoration they receive from their fans. And win, lose or draw this weekend we’re going to see a man revered by all within F1 circles, the tifosi, and from many millions more around the world. It seems fitting that he announces his retirement at Monza, just as his mentor did ten years ago. Obrigado Felipe!

  41. Stay cool, Felipe baby.

  42. Well, I’m sad by that. But it’s probably better it be on his terms. 15 years, not bad at all.

    I’ve got two bits of F1 kit, a Schumacher shirt and a Massa Jacket. I’m going to keep wearing them to the F1.
    I think Brazil will be a very emotional. I hope Brazil is a good track for the Williams. If Massa has a good race I will probably cry haha!

  43. Massa’s career meant a lot for Brazil, because 2008 was the only year after Senna that we had a shot at the title until the last race. He raced at the highest level among great drivers during his prime and outscored Raikkonen on equal cars.

    He was the most sucessful brazilian at his home GP, equalling Fittipaldi, Piquet and Senna with two wins, but surpassing their podium total.

    He wasn’t a phenomenon, but always a hard worker and made the most of his capabilities. He never admitted, but after the accident he wasn’t the same, like Lauda and Piquet later admitted in similar circunstances, but he was no Lauda or no Piquet, who could still be quick enough to win.

    After leaving Ferrari, he had a decent first year at Williams, with a couple of podiums and a pole.

    Will miss him, and there’s a worrying lack of new talent in brazilian motorsport

  44. Does this mean that perez will join Williams?

  45. Truly gutted that Brazil isn’t the last race this year. That would have been awesome for Massa no matter what the result was.

    Likable guy and one more nice guy out of F1. Hope he keeps racing or stays active in the racing community.

    Thank you for all the memories, Felipe. Hungary 2008 was awesome until it ended with the engine failure.

    Brazil 2008 was your peak and you looked great atop the podium.

  46. All the veterans in this site will remember the “Felipe Baby” song, after the 2009 Malaysian GP white visor radio message. Great memories. And for the new people great fun.

    “there’s not enough ice cream for the both of you,
    and only one gorilla suit” Soooo hilarious!!

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