Felipe Massa

Oxfordshire (England), Sep 1 (IANS) Team Williams driver Felipe Massa announced on Thursday he will retire from Formula One at the end of the season.

The 35-year-old Brazilian, who made his F1 debut with team Sauber back in 2002, is in his third year with Williams, having joined the team in 2014, and has scored five podium finishes for the British squad.

Speaking about his 14 years at the pinnacle of motorsport, Massa said in a statement: “I must start by especially thanking my wife and my father, my whole family, my manager Nicolas and all the people who have supported me throughout my career. Thank you to God for giving me the opportunities I have had in life and, above all, for protecting me.”

“A huge thank you as well to everyone I have worked with over the years. Every team I have been a part of has been a special experience, and not only in Formula One. I have so many great memories over the years and thank everyone in all the teams I have come through to help me get to where I am today.”

Massa was signed as a test driver by Ferrari for 2003, before returning to Sauber for two further seasons, which he combined with his testing duties for Maranello. This relationship paved the way for Ferrari’s driver academy, which was launched in 2009.

He graduated to a race seat with Ferrari in 2006, alongside seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher, and took the first two of his career victories that season, finishing third in the world championship.

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