It looks like Felipe Massa will finally retire from Formula 1 racing after the 36-year old Brazilian recently announced that he will leave the team at the end of the 2017 season.
Originally, Massa retired from the motorsport after the end of the 2016 season. His replacement was Canandian rookie driver Lance Stroll. However, Bottas departed from Williams and switched to Mercedes-AMG F1 right before the start of the 2017 season. Williams requested if Massa can drive for them for one last time, to which the Brazilian racing driver agreed to.
But after nearly fifteen years in Formula 1, Massa has decided that the upcoming Brazilian and Abu Dhabi Grand Prix races will be his last. Williams was actually considering to keep Massa until 2018 but with his final decision already made, the racing team agreed to let go of the 36-year old driver.
“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,” said Massa.
Massa also wanted to thank all of his fans who have been supportive over the years and made great memories with. He plans to end the 2017 season on a high note as he is currently in 11th place overall with 36 points in the Driver Standings.
Claire Williams, Deputy Team Principal at Williams Racing, gave thanks to Felipe for all that 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,” added Claire Williams.
Despite his eventual departure from Formula 1, Massa is looking to continue racing at another motorsport entirely apparently. During his short retirement in 2016, Massa did some testing in Formula E for Jaguar and spoke to the team during the 2016 – 2017 season. That did not come into fruition however since he drove for Williams once again for the 2017 Formula 1 season.
Massa is still keen to join Formula E though he does not know when he'll join the motorsport.
Williams will announce their 2018 driver lineup soon.