Felipe Massa forced into early German GP retirement

Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd.

Felipe Massa had to retire from the German Grand Prix after finding his performance affected by a first lap incident with Jolyon Palmer.

The Williams Martini Racing driver started the Grand Prix in tenth, but on the opening lap at the Hockenheimring Massa was clipped by Palmer at the hairpin, which affected the car’s pace. Throughout the race the team tried to resolve the issue but on Lap 36, the veteran Brazilian was forced to retire.

Across the last seven races of the 2016 Formula 1 season, Massa has only managed to achieve two points for the Grove-based outfit. He retains his ninth position in the Drivers’ Championship heading into the three-week Summer break, with Massa believing retirement was the better option as he was suffering massively while he tried to carry on with the race.

“It’s such a shame that someone hit my rear right tyre on the first lap because it felt like something definitely happened to that area of the car,” said Massa.

“Perhaps a toe issue or something, because the car felt undriveable. Although I tried to carry on with the race, I was suffering massively. The pace was just so slow to the point where it was better to retire than carry on.

“Now, I’m going to take the summer break as an opportunity to relax with my family and prepare for the second half of the season to make it much better than the first half.”