Felipe Massa has announced his retirement from Formula 1 at the end of the season.
The Brazilian driver confirmed today on social media that he will not race next year, as Williams Martini Racing will seek a replacement for next year to partner alongside Lance Stroll.
Massa announced his retirement from the sport last year, but due to Nico Rosberg‘s sudden retirement, which led to Valtteri Bottas moving from Williams to Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula 1 Team, the Brazilian made a return at Williams’ request.
The Brazilian said in a statement that he has enjoyed his four years with Williams, helping them push back up midfield during the V6 Hybrid era.
“As everyone knows, after announcing my retirement from Formula One last year, I agreed to return this season to help Williams when the call came. I have now enjoyed four great years with the team, but my career in Formula One will finally come to an end this season. “ said Massa.
“Once more, I would like to say a big thank you to everyone who has supported me throughout this time: my wife and my father, my whole family, my manager Nicolas and all my friends, colleagues and sponsors. I would also like to add a huge thank you to all of the fans who have been incredibly supportive and passionate over the years.”
The thirty-six year old has enjoyed a successful F1 career that expands over fifteen seasons. Securing forty-one podiums and eleven wins, all of his victories have come from his time with Scuderia Ferrari. His last win came in Brazil nine years ago in a title finale, where Massa lost out to Lewis Hamilton by one point.
Williams Deputy Team Principal, Claire Williams said that it has been a pleasure working with Massa and feels grateful for him to come back this year.
“I would like to thank Felipe for all he has done for the team over the last four years. It has been an absolute pleasure to work with him.” said Williams.
“We are especially grateful that he agreed to postpone his retirement from Formula One for a year, after Valtteri joined Mercedes, which demonstrated the depth of the relationship we built during our time together.”
“We appreciate that it wasn’t an easy decision for him to return, after having such an emotional send-off at the end of last year. On behalf of Sir Frank, and all the team, we give our very best wishes to Felipe for the future.”
Williams will announce their 2018 line-up soon, with rumours of Robert Kubica, Daniil Kvyat, Pascal Wehrlein and Paul Di Resta in with a shout of a seat.