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Williams driver Felipe Massa will be retiring from Formula One at the end of 2016, the Brazilian has announced.
Massa, who is ranked ninth for all-time starts (at 242), is set to have 250 starts under his belt when the chequered flag drops in Abu Dhabi.
“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. Thank you to God for giving me the opportunities I have had in life and, above all, for protecting me,” Massa said in an official statement.
Felipe Massa is arguably up there with the greats who never won a title, such as Stirling Moss and Chris Amon
“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.”
Massa added that he was proud of his achievements in the motorsport.
“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,” he concluded.
A brief career timeline
The Brazilian started racing for Sauber in 2002, before moving to Ferrari in 2006, replacing compatriot Rubens Barrichello.
Perhaps the highlight and lowlight of his career came at the season-ending Brazilian Grand Prix in 2008, when Massa won the race. He would be the 2008 world champion for a few fleeting seconds, until title rival Lewis Hamilton pulled a last-corner overtake for fifth and won the title by just one point.
Massa would also suffer serious injury during qualifying for the 2009 Hungarian Grand Prix, when a part from Barrichello’s car struck him in the head. The incident, which necessitated emergency intervention, would sideline him for the rest of the season.
The F1 driver would return to action in 2010, enjoying several more years at Ferrari until he moved to Williams for the 2014 season.
Featured image: Williams Racing Twitter account