Brazil fans - and his son - give Felipe Massa emotional send off in last home GP

1y ago

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Felipe Massa still has one race to run before he officially hangs up his helmet as a Formula 1 driver, but the Brazilian fans gave him a superb send off at his last home race on Sunday.

At last year's Brazilian GP there was not a dry eye in the house when Massa's Williams broke down during the race, and he was applauded down the pitlane by the other teams, media and the fans - who all thought it would be his last appearance there.

But after Nico Rosberg surprised everyone by retiring at the end of last season, the end result was Massa immediately coming out of retirement and doing another season with Williams.

That meant another emotional goodbye to and from his fans this weekend in Sao Paolo.

This time around the race was a bit kinder to him and he managed to come home in the points - even holding off his old rival Fernando Alonso in the process - to finish seventh.

Massa then grabbed a flag from a marshal and enjoyed a long slowing down lap - and he even heard his son congratulating his father over the team radio.

Alonso then showed his class by applauding his former Ferrari team-mate down the pitlane.

In a sign that new F1 owners Liberty Media perhaps understand media and presentation better than previous regimes, Massa was brought up onto the podium after the top three, where he was given an emotional send off by fellow local hero Ruben Barrichello - and to rapturous applause from the crowd.

Massa gets out of the car and faces his adoring fans (Pic: Sutton)

After the race and the emotional podium scenes, Massa spoke to Sky F1.

"It's so difficult to explain my feelings today," he said.

"I had an amazing start. I then managed to overtake a few cars after the Safety Car, managed to overtake Alonso which was very important for me because I knew he would have better pace than me.

"I managed to keep him behind. I was so emotional when I finished the race.

"It was a very difficult race for me. It was like many victories that I took it. I drove a perfect race from beginning to end, managed the tyres, managed everything around the car, the pace I had.

"Today was definitely like a victory and to finish the race and feel the emotion of the people after such an amazing race. I knew last year I had so much love and emotion from the people but I didn't finish the race like I wanted. Today I finished like I wanted. That's why I did another year.

"It was a race that I will never forget.

"For sure I will miss all of you guys. We've been together for 16 years. Thank you."

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