Felipe Massa announces retirement from Formula 1
The Brazilian will retire from the sport at the end of the 2017 season.
After the special circumstances at the end of 2016, which forced Felipe Massa to return to Formula 1 having announced his retirement - the Brazilian has once again decided to leave the sport after the 2017 season.
Next weekend's Brazilian Grand Prix and the season-finale Abu Dhabi Grand Prix will be Massa's final two races in his 16-years long career, which included stints with Sauber and Ferrari.
"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.
"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. I take so many great memories with me as I prepare for my final two races in Brazil and Abu Dhabi, and although they will be emotional, I am looking forward to ending on a high note and preparing for a new chapter in my career," said Massa.
Claire Williams added: “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.
"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.”
Massa wanted to have another go next year, but he came under immense pressure with names like Robert Kubica, Paul di Resta, Pascal Wehrlein and Daniil Kvyat being linked to his seat alongside Lance Stroll.
The team intended to announce its plan after the Abu Dhabi GP, but with Brazilian GP in between, it seemed logical for them to inform Massa about not re-signing the Brazilian for the 2018 season and beyond.