Much-loved Massa signs off from F1

Nov 27, 2017 - 1:52 AM Felipe Massa has bowed out of Formula One with his head held high and one last point in a career that brought him 11 wins and within a whisker of a world championship with Ferrari.

The 36-year-old Brazilian said he was ready for the next step, whatever that might be, after his 269th and final F1 race.

"For sure, I will miss many things -- racing against amazing drivers and competing in the best car and the best category in the world," he said after finishing 10th for Williams under the Yas Marina Circuit floodlights.

The farewell was one of several for Massa, who also retired last year before being brought back by Williams in January as a replacement for Valtteri Bottas when the Finn joined Mercedes.

He had also said goodbye to his home fans in Brazil two weeks ago.

But there was still plenty of emotion as the sport saluted a man who lost out to Lewis Hamilton in the 2008 championship by a single point and then endured life-threatening head injuries in Hungary in 2009 when hit by a bouncing spring in qualifying.

"You wouldn't meet a more universally-liked driver, I think," long-time friend and colleague Rob Smedley, now head of performance engineering at Williams after a stint at Ferrari as the Brazilian's race engineer, told Sky Sports television.

"He'll carry on racing because it's in his blood. I think this is now definitely, undoubtedly, the right time to retire from Formula One."

Massa ends the season 11th overall, with 43 points compared to his teenage rookie Canadian team mate Lance Stroll on 40.

Source: AAP

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