Emotional Massa thanks his home crowd

2016 Brazilian Grand Prix

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An emotional Felipe Massa said he wasn’t sure he deserved the warm reception he received after crashing out of his final home grand prix.

Massa, who will bow out of Formula One following the next race in Abu Dhabi, said it was “impossible to explain my feelings from today, for everything that has happened – so much love”.

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The Williams driver crashed out on the 49th lap but was cheered by the crowd and applauded by members of rival teams as he walked back into the pits.

“We couldn’t finish the race,” he said. “I wanted to finish in the right way, with the flag on the top. Unfortunately, I couldn’t, but I think God knows what to do.”

“I was just walking, in front of my people, with this amazing reaction. Not just from the fans but from all the people in Formula One coming out to clap their hands for me. It’s impossible to explain these emotions.”

“I never expected this in my life, I don’t think I deserved as much as this. The minimum I can say is thank you very much to everyone, all the people I’ve worked with, all of the fans. I will never forget this day.”

2016 Brazilian Grand Prix

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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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    20 comments on “Emotional Massa thanks his home crowd”

    1. The red flags, his green flag, him with less hair then he would’ve liked, the rain (again) and of course his memory of being a champion for 30 secs.


    2. It was incredibly special to watch that. It was a fantastic that his crash happened to close the pit lane and delay all the action which in turn allowed that to happen. It was very nice to see the Mercedes mechanics, and the Ferrari mechanics he used to work with, cheering him, along with all the fans who were there.

      Hopefully that will be a moment that will be remembered for years to come, and even though the result couldn’t have been worse, it’s certainly a story to tell in the future.

      1. Fantastic chance*

    3. Over the past 23 years of watching F1 I thought I’d seen it all during a race but I have never before cried… until I saw Massa have his ‘Cool Runnings moment’. Emotional, I thank you for the memories, Felipe!

      1. Yeah, same for me. I think there was a problem with my visor, because my eyes became very wet at that stage …

        1. I think you might’ve needed the white visor ;)

    4. How ironic.
      If he finished the race he would probably never had that huge emotional walk moment.
      Fate chose an epic ending for Massa’s career, we’ll never forgot this!

    5. Would have liked to see him retiring with a real WDC (if Timo Glock was worth his salt…) (if the Singapore hosegate had not happened…) but for me Felipe Baby will always be the moral 2008 WDC.

      1. Please shut up.

    6. What a beautiful sight it was. After the lows of the red flag debacle this really lifted spirits and set the stage wonderfully for Verstappen’s performance.

    7. The moment I saw this, my first thoughts were, Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello; both drivers never really announcing retirement and a chance to bask in that glory for a final time especially Rubens. It just shows that before the sport gives up on you, you must give up the sport.

      Great moment and a good career Felipe!

      1. Not quite d’accord with Button, if his career does end after this season, it’s his fault for not announcing it.
        But it did indeed remind me of Barrichello when Massa announced the end of his career, because I remember very well how disheartening it was to lose such a good fellow as Rubens without any proper announcement during the off-season, just to be replaced by a rich boy with a famous name who barely managed to score any points in a car that was podium material.
        So in a way I was very relieved that Massa had the chance to announce his own retirement before anyone else did. It’s a question of dignity.

        I’m going to miss the little man a lot.

    8. A great driver on his day and a greater human being than most of the current F1 drivers. A thorough gentleman and always a fair racer. Thanks for all the memories Felipe – you will always remain as a champion in my eyes – both on and off the track.

      F1 will never be the same again without you – at-least for me personally.

    9. Very emotional and I now understand why Matchett always held Massa in such high regard as an individual. This was beautiful to watch. As everyone has echoed, I think everyone who has watched F1 will regard him as a world champion.

    10. If i were Massa i wouldn’t even race on Abu Dhabi. It can’t and it won’t top this.
      Wurz didn’t race in Brazil 2007 and was replaced by Nakajima, why shouldn’t Massa do the same?

      But yeah unfortunately his final race is still to come. On a track that means very little to everyone.

    11. Very emotional scene, and, like many people already said, I’ve never seen anything like that during the 25 years I’ve been watching Formula 1.

      Saw his and Rubens’ careers begin and end. Felipe knew when to stop and how to announce it, and you don’t get a standing ovation from your rivals for nothing.

      Rubens was more naturally gifted, and some of his drives were amongst the greatest I’ve ever seen: Donnington 93 and Hockenheim 2000. Felipe never reached that heights, but came closer to the title.

      We brazilians were spoiled by the 80’s and the early 90’s (with Piquet and Senna in F-1 and Fittipaldi winning in the U.S.) but we still got a great decade after that, with 22 wins and three 2nd places in the championship, from 2000 to 2009.

      I’ll miss him, and 2008 was as great as any other year in our history.

      Sad there’s not short-term perspective of a renaissance

    12. Fantastic.

    13. That was extremely emotional for me.
      The indisputable fact, a truly great man.

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