Williams driver Felipe Massa announced that he will be departing from Formula 1 at the end of the 2016 season.
Announcing his retirement at a press conference in Monza, the Brazilian started his first Formula 1 race back in 2002 at the Australian Grand Prix with Sauber, where he spent three successful years and earned a move to Ferrari.
While he was at Ferrari, Massa was always known as a second driver, with teammates Michael Schumacher, Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen always grabbing the headlines.
However, despite his shortcomings at Ferrari, the 35-year-old came agonisingly close to claiming his first World Championship in 2008 but ultimately lost out to Lewis Hamilton by just a single point.
Following disappointing seasons after his tremendous effort in 2008, Massa left the Scuderia and moved onto Williams in 2014, which will be the last team he will race for in Formula 1.
“This will be my last season in F1,” he confirmed.
“I will enjoy my last eight races in F1 as much as I’ve always done. I just want to say thank you to everybody who is around me and who have followed me in my career.”
Massa also added that he chose to announce his retirement in Italy because it was the same place that Schumacher announced his departure for the first time ten years ago, which in turn meant that he would keep his seat at Ferrari.
“Michael was a big feature on my career,” he continued. “I decided to do this here because of him.”
“I am very proud to have raced in F1 for so long.
“I achieved a lot more than l expected. Even if l lost the championship by a point l am very proud of my career and what l have achieved.”