The 35-year-old confirmed this year will be his last during a press conference in the Williams motorhome on Thursday in Monza. Massa has driven for Williams for the past three seasons since leaving Ferrari, having spent eight years with the Scuderia.
Announcing the news, Massa confirmed he selected Monza to make the announcement as it is where former Ferrari team-mate Michael Schumacher also confirmed he would retire for the first time back in 2006.
“I didn’t expect to have a lot of people here but I feel really happy for that to have warm media around,” Massa said. “What can I say? I feel more nervous now than any of my race starts in Formula 1. So after 27 years of my career since I started in go-karts at eight years old, 15 years in Formula 1, this will be my last season in Formula 1.
“It will be my last eight races in Formula 1 which I will try to enjoy as much as I’ve always enjoyed racing.
“I’m choosing this place in Italy because ten years ago Michael announced his retirement and the only way for me to stay at Ferrari was if he stopped because Kimi had signed his Ferrari contract before me. So he chose to stop to give me this opportunity. Italy is like my second country that I really love.”
Since making his debut for Sauber in 2002, Massa has made 242 grand prix starts and taken 11 victories, coming close to winning the world championship for Ferrari in 2008 when Lewis Hamilton pipped him to the title in the final race of the season at Interlagos.
Massa survived a life-threatening accident at the Hungarian Grand Prix the following year when he was hit in the head by a spring from Rubens Barrichello’s Brawn, fracturing his skull. Massa missed the rest of the 2009 season while he recovered but was back racing the next season alongside Fernando Alonso, though he has yet to win a race since.
“I managed to achieve many dreams and I am very proud of my career, very proud. I achieved a lot more than what I expected. I won 11 races, was on the podium many times, I’ve raced for different teams and worked with many different people.
“Even if I lost the world championship by one point I am very proud of my career and that’s why it’s very emotional for me to be here and saying this now. I am so happy for everything I achieved.”
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