Felipe Massa’s penultimate race and home Grand Prix in Interlagos was a difficult one to take. The Brazilian crashed out to an emotional pit-lane and was unable to complete the race, but his final battle in Abu Dhabi was fitting, especially as he fighting with his old Ferrari teammate Fernando Alonso.
Massa was able to bring his Williams home in 9th at the Yas Marina circuit, concluding a disappointing season for the team. He had a big fight with Fernando Alonso at the end and was able to keep ahead. On this occasion, Massa was faster than you Fernando.
— WILLIAMS RACING (@WilliamsRacing) November 27, 2016
After the race, Williams’ Head of Performance Engineering and loyal friend to the Brazilian driver Rob Smedley said,
“It was a tough race, as we expected it to be. Unfortunately, Valtteri [Bottas] went out with a rear suspension failure so we will look into that. Felipe drove a really good race in the car that he had and it was a fitting end to his career. Fernando Alonso gambled on a different tyre strategy but Felipe was able to hold him off until the end and finished ninth. It’s not where we really want to be but it was a good job by all the guys.”
– Rob Smedley
The early retirement of Valtteri Bottas made the tall order of outscoring Force India and reclaiming 4th impossible, but Felipe Massa was more than happy with the result. He beat Alonso, but finished the campaign a point adrift of the Spaniard’s tally in the Driver Standings.
“Well, I’m really proud to have been fighting up to the last lap of the race in the same way I fought in the first lap of my career. I want to say thank you to everyone – everyone who has been with me all the way, racing together. Thank you to the fans and to Williams, who I will keep supporting in the future.
Thank you to everyone who has been part of everything I have been through. I have finished my career with my head up, the same way I started my career.”
– Felipe Massa