Felipe Massa, Williams, Interlagos, 2017

Massa says “perfect” final home race is one he won’t forget

2017 Brazilian Grand Prix

Posted on

| Written by

An emotional Felipe Massa said his drive to seventh place in his final race at home was like a victory.

The Williams driver kept Fernando Alonso and Sergio Perez behind him despite severe pressure from them over the final laps.

Start, Interlagos, 2017
Brazilian Grand Prix in pictures
“It was a race that I will never forget,” said Massa afterwards. “It will be inside my heart.”

Massa said he made an “amazing start” and explained how his early move on Alonso was vital to his chances in the race.

“It was very important for me because I knew he would have better pace than me,” said Massa. “So I managed to keep him behind.”

Alonso pushed Massa to the flag but applauded his former team mate after they returned to the pits.

“I was so emotional when I finished the race,” said Massa. “It was a very difficult race for me.”

“The race was, for me, like many victories that I took. I drove a perfect race from the beginning to the end, managed the tyres, managed the car. The pace I had today definitely was like a victory.”

Massa crashed out of the race 12 months ago, which at the time he expected to be his final home grand prix before accepting a return to F1 with Williams this year.

“I knew that maybe last year I had so much love and emotion from the people but I didn’t finish the race like I wanted. Today I finished the race like I wanted. That’s why I did another year.”

2017 Brazilian Grand Prix

Browse all Brazilian Grand Prix articles

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

22 comments on “Massa says “perfect” final home race is one he won’t forget”

  1. Shame Mclaren didnt have pace on straights, else it was a good fight between Massa and Alonso to end.

  2. Between Massa, Alonso AND Perez. Shame the FOM switched to that battle as recently as Kimi and Lewis had ended their race.

  3. Half expected him to announce his (immediate) retirement on the podium… seemed like a perfect performance and venue to end his career, so it wouldn’t have surprised me.

  4. I wonder if Kubica test in AbuDhabi ends up pretty bad, who they gonna call?

    1. Massa and ask if he would mind accepting just a little less money to go towards him :D

      Just seeing that on average, Massa is still far better than Stroll, it is just such a shame that Massa is retiring. I know that he didn’t actually want to retire. He’s still far more capable than many current drivers on the grid are. He won’t have many more years left in him, but I just can’t see any options that Williams are concidering as being a better driver. But if it is related to money, maybe I could see why one or two of them are a better option. Still think Kvyat is the best choice, then Di Resta.

      1. Fernando Mariano
        12th November 2017, 20:22

        You are totally right. Massa is still better than most of the gird and even tho the results don’t show, he is having his best season in performances since 2014 or maybe even 2009. Definetly Kubica is not going to be an improvement on Massa next year, even tho Kubica was a very good driver on his peak.

  5. That’s the fitting finale for Felipe baby – leading Alonso home was the icing on the cake. Thanks for all the memories.

  6. It seems like last season wasn’t right for Massa to retire.
    This season in the Brazilian GP he has had a far better send off.

    Best of luck to him

  7. The gap to stroll is, again, just massive. Even accounting for various difficulties. Stroll isn’t there yet… As for Massa, a good race and a nice send off

  8. Not much to add to what he says. 7th was indeed the best he could hope for, as the gap to the top 3 teams was simply too big, even with Ricciardo and Hamilton starting from the back.
    But there was very little to choose between Williams, Force India, Renault, and McLaren, and his storming start was indeed vital for the outcome of his race. Qualifying, at least the final part, was more or less forgettable. Two errors, one more or less forced, one unforced, could’ve ruined the race before it even started. But he rectified that at the start, and one would be hard pressed to name anything he could’ve done better during those 71 laps.

    Which leads me to Paul di Resta. His analysis of Massa’s start was more or less a mumbled “yeah those cars clashed so he’s fortunate to have them move out of his way”. Did he not receive the memo that Massa is leaving F1 and therefore not competing for that Williams seat, which di Resta hopefully won’t get either? Meaning that this year’s DTM’s glorious 11th out of 18 doesn’t need to behave like a jealous twit anymore when it comes to Massa?
    Or is that just a character trait he has? I could really do without him.

    1. Vijay Mallya surely knows how to pick his drivers, and him dumping Paul di Resta at Fore India was a clear cut sign that he does not belong to F1. To bring him back would be a disaster, better be Pastor Maldonado ( a GP winner for Williams, in fact their only one in the last 13 years) than Paul di Whineresta.

  9. Obrigado Felipe Baby

  10. It was a great race by Massa and it’s a real shame that he is retiring given that he is still Williams’ best option (in my view).

    I’ve always seen Massa as the most unlucky driver in F1, but he has had a long career and it’s been great to watch. It was nice to see him and Barrichello together on the podium, and it reminded me that Barrichello also retired when Williams didn’t re-sign him for the next year.

    1. Williams ended Barrichello, Massa and Senna career.

      1. Ayrton and Bruno.

  11. Oh god,those last 10 laps were so so stressful!Especially with FOM’s broken charts,it was bad!!Thankfully Felipe managed to keep Fernando at bay & managed to finish “best of the rest”.Felipe made a great race,gaining 3 places at the start & passing Alo at the restart.The perfect finale for the last home gp

  12. Massa never got the title, but he is going for the record of most retirements, now he has 2, and it wouldn’t surprise me to see Massa in a Williams next year again.

  13. Despite all the rhetoric (myself included) saying he should never have come back, this race was a far better farewell than last year. All the feels again, goodbye Felipe.

  14. What’s the background to Massa’s retirement ? Why would Williams prefer a lesser driver if Kubica is not retained ?

    It wouldn’t make much sense nor seems very pragmatic.

    1. @nickfrog
      I hear it’s money. Apparently Massa’s too expensive and not willing to settle for much less. Which makes you wonder what Stroll is good for, if his backing doesn’t even permit Williams to hire a worthy team leader to compensate for Stroll’s inability …

Comments are closed.