Williams F1 driver Felipe Massa stunned the racing world when he announced his plan to retire from F1 racing at the end of the 2016 season. The Brazilian racer made the big announcement on the eve of the Italian Grand Prix.
Massa started his racing career in go-karting at the age of eight. In 2000 he moved to Europe to compete with the Italian Formula Renault series, where he won both the Italian and the European Formula Renault championships in the same year. Massa scored another victory at the Euro Formula 3000, winning 6 of the 8 races and the championship. With that event, Massa was then offered an F1 test with the Sauber team, who signed him for 2002 season.
The 35-year-old Massa started his F1 career with Sauber F1 racing team in 2002 before joining the Italian giant Scuderia Ferrari as a test driver in 2003. Massa has become the first Brazilian racer (since Ayrton Senna) to win the prestigious Brazilian Grand Prix and has competed in 242 grand prix, making him one of the most experienced drivers in F1 history. The Brazilian has spent three years at Sauber F1 team before joining the Italian giant Scuderia Ferrari.
After Sauber was taken over by BMW, Massa was released and joined the Italian giant Scuderia Ferrari, where he paired with F1 legend Michael Schumacher. In 2006, Massa has finally secured his position at Ferrari when Michael Schumacher announced its retirement from F1 racing.
At Ferrari, Massa has made an impressive racing career, achieving his best result in a championship, winning all of his 11 grand prix with the Maranello-based squad. During his tenure, the Sao Paulo native has achieved 6 pole positions (Malaysian, Turkish, Monaco, European, Singapore and Brazilian Grands Prix), made 3 fastest laps (European, Japanese and Brazilian Grands Prix), and won 6 races (Bahrain, Turkish, French, European, Belgian and the Brazilian Grands Prix).
In 2008, Massa came closer to winning the 2008 Driver’s World Championship, where he lost the title by a single point only. Massa has finished that race in second place, behind race leader Lewis Hamilton.
In November of 2013, Massa joined Williams and partner with Valterri Bottas for the 2014 season, replacing Pastor Maldonado.
Massa allegedly decided on the Italian Grand Prix to announce his retirement plan because it's the same place where F1 legend Michael Schumacher revealed to the world that he was leaving his F1 days behind.
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