Felipe Massa confirmed today that he will retire from Formula One at the end of the 2016 season.
Speaking to reporters at the Italian Grand Prix, the Brazilian driver, whose current contract with Williams expires at the end of this year, said he had already decided some months ago that this would be his last season.
Massa, 35, started his F1 career with Sauber back in 2002. He joined Ferrari [NYSE:RACE] in 2006, racing alongside Michael Schumacher who was a mentor to him.
In 2008 he came close to securing the world championship, only to have it taken away by Lewis Hamilton who crossed the line of the final race in Brazil high enough to earn one extra point and take home the title.
In 2009, during qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix, Massa’s helmet was struck by a flying suspension spring that detached from a car driven by Rubens Barrichello, causing serious injury. Despite this, Massa was back racing for Ferrari the next season.
He joined his current team Williams for the 2014 season though hasn’t managed to win a race since then. In his F1 career, he has 11 wins to his name. His last race, his 250th, will be the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in November.
Williams still has plenty of time to find a replacement for Massa. However, there are already rumors that McLaren’s Jenson Button, 36, may join the squad.