Felipe Massa
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Felipe Massa

Massa column: F1 farewell not the end of my career

In his final column as a Formula 1 driver, Felipe Massa reflects on the farewell weekend that capped off a 15-year grand prix racing career.

Massa column: F1 farewell not the end of my career
Paddy Lowe, Chief Technical Officer, Williams Formula 1, Felipe Massa, Williams
Race winner Second place Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes AMG F1 Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1, Felipe Massa, Williams, celebrate
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes-Benz F1 W08 congratulates and celebrates in parc ferme with Felipe Massa, Williams and race winner Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes AMG F1
Felipe Massa, Williams FW40
Felipe Massa, Williams FW40, leads Fernando Alonso, McLaren MCL32
Felipe Massa, Williams FW40
Felipe Massa, Williams FW40
Felipe Massa, Williams at the Williams team photo

After the chequered flag at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix I decided to do something a bit special – that isn’t really covered by the FIA rules. But after 15 years of Formula 1, I am sure I will be forgiven.

Following the lap of honour, I went with my car to the start/finish straight with the two Mercedes drivers to celebrate with a spectacular burnout. I was delighted to receive the greetings from Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton, but above all have the opportunity to say thanks to everyone who has accompanied me on this long journey.

I feel that I am a very lucky person. I realised my ambitions by completing a career that fulfilled the dreams I had as a child. And when you live such a beautiful story, you have to thank those who helped you on that path. And that starts with my family, who didn’t miss any opportunity to give me the biggest support possible – especially in the most difficult moments.

I think the last races have shown how appreciated I was as an F1 driver. I was very happy with the results from both Brazil and Abu Dhabi, where I don’t think it would have been possible to bring home anything more.

It was important to end the long journey of my career on such a positive note, and up until the final metres of my F1 career, I’ve shown I am a professional who can make a good contribution to a team.

At the Yas Marina, we started the weekend with good pace, and we went into qualifying hoping to be able to get into Q3. It was a target we achieved – and being able to beat some other competitive cars shows the progress we made over the closing stages of the season. That left me particularly pleased.

Before the race, I thought that the start would be crucial to try to help us get into the points. We know how difficult it is to overtake in Abu Dhabi – and I was delighted to get past Fernando Alonso’s McLaren early on. Two weeks on from our long duel at Interlagos, I found myself again in a tough battle with my old teammate.

I was able to control the situation up to the pit stop without any particular problems. After the tyre change, I pushed a lot to try to prevent being undercut, and after my stop I returned to the track practically stuck to his car.

Unfortunately at that moment the charge of the hybrid part of my power unit was not ideal, and Fernando was able to get me. There was nothing I could do otherwise, but at least the points target did not escape me completely as I was able to come home in 10th.

After greeting a lot of friends at Yas Marina on Sunday evening, I'm going to take a rest. So many people have asked me what my future plans are, but it is still too early to give a precise answer.

I have several opportunities, and I will decide in a calm manner. The only certainty is that you will see me again in motorsport. It is the world I dreamed of as a child and in which I have been lucky enough to live up until now.

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