After being replaced by Kimi Raikkonen at Ferrari, Williams driver Felipe Massa claimed that he almost quit the sport shortly after he found out.
Announcing his retirement last weekend prior to the Italian Grand Prix, the Brazilian said that this year was the right time do it rather than three years ago.
“I was thinking to do it myself three years ago,” said Massa, who will be retiring from Formula 1 after 14 years in the sport.
“You need to be strong enough to decide things that are sometimes quite difficult. That is what I did. I’m relieved and happy with what I’m doing. I think this year was the time to do that.”
The 35-year-old came agonisingly close to claiming his first World Championship in 2008, where he lost by one-point to Lewis Hamilton in a dramatic final race of the season.
However, reflecting back on that riveting season, Massa said that he is still proud of all that he has achieved in the sport, despite not being a World Champion.
“I lost the championship by one point, but I was on pole position and won the race, so I did the best I could,” he added.
“It was not depending just on me, it was depending on so many things that happened before.
“I don’t like to go there, but Singapore for me was something that was really sad.
“There were other races like Hungary where I had an engine problem but it’s part of the sport.
“So many things happened and it would have been different at the end of the season, but anyway… as I’ve said I’m really, really proud of my career. In these moments, like I am now, you have to talk with your heart.”