Felipe Massa: “I am really proud of everything I have achieved”

Felipe Massa started and finished his final race in 10th place. Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Felipe Massa says he is “really proud of everything I’ve achieved” after his 269th and final Formula 1 Grand Prix ended with a points finish.

Massa started the 2017 Abu Dhabi Formula 1 Grand Prix for Williams Martini Racing in 10th place after a last-ditch lap in Q2 saw him knock old rival Fernando Alonso out.

A race-long battle with McLaren-Honda Formula 1 Team driver Alonso, ultimately saw the Spanish driver finish ahead, in ninth place, but Massa still was still happy with his race.

He said: “The race was good, I was fighting from the beginning to the end. Unfortunately, we lost the position after the pitstop but I’m really happy overall.”

The 11-time race winner first broke into F1 with the Sauber F1 Team in 2002, before a switch to the Scuderia Ferrari between 2006-2013 was the highlight of his career.

His best season came in 2008, when he won six races and took the championship fight with Lewis Hamilton down to the finale at his home track of Interlagos.

Hamilton, of course snatched the title back at the last corner of the last lap and Massa’s conduct on the podium endeared him to legions of new fans who respected the dignity and class he showed.

Reflecting on his career, which ended with a four-year stint with the Williams team, he said: “It’s a great feeling. I can say I am really proud of everything I’ve achieved, all 16 years and all the amazing races, and the great people I met in the paddock, racing against the best drivers in the world.

“To be honest, I’m very lucky to have had all of this in my life so thanks to my family and to god for all of these amazing opportunities.

Massa ended his final season in 11th place in the driver standings, having claimed 43 points in 13 races where he scored points and helped Williams to secure fifth in the constructor standings for the second successive season.