Massa says emotional goodbye to Interlagos after crashing out of Brazilian GP (VIDEO)

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Felipe Massa said an emotional goodbye to Interlagos after crashing out of the Brazilian Grand Prix on Sunday in his final Formula 1 appearance on home soil.

Massa announced back in September that he would be retiring from F1 at the end of the 2016 season, making his final home race a poignant event.

The Brazilian donned a special helmet and race suit for race day, but failed to get the fairytale ending he would have hoped for after crashing out in heavy rain on Lap 48.

Massa was visibly upset upon getting out of his car, but took time to say thank you to the home crowd with a Brazilian flag in hand that offered a standing ovation for their hero.

Upon returning to the pits on foot, Massa found a guard of honor from the Mercedes and Ferrari teams waiting for him, before eventually being met by his wife and son, at which point he burst into tears.

While it wasn’t the final hurrah at home that Massa wanted, it will go down as one of the most humanising and emotional moments in F1’s recent history.

Massa reflected on it after the race talking to NBCSN’s Will Buxton.

“It’s impossible to explain the feeling I had today. I wanted to finish in a better position for the fans,” Massa told Buxton.

“But God knows what to do. (He) stopped me in the place where I can have such a moment for me in front of these people and in front of the whole paddock.

“They could clap their hands for me. Teams I never even worked with. It’s such an amazing feeling. I am really proud.

“But I never expected a day like today. I finished with my head up. Not happy with the result, but happy for the love and the human side.”

Massa reflected on his place in the F1 paddock, where he is now universally adored.

“I didn’t imagine this. It’s not an easy paddock,” he admitted.

“But it’s an amazing feeling. Everyone who’s supported me even for one second… it’s really emotional. A really great feeling we will never forget.”

Massa will make his final F1 start in Abu Dhabi on November 27.

Here’s Sam Posey’s take on Massa, in “Felipe’s Farewell” which aired during the pre-race show.

MRTI: Juncos signs Carlos Cunha for Pro Mazda campaign

Photo: Juncos Racing
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Juncos Racing continued to bolster its entries in the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires by signing Carlos Cunha to pilot a third Juncos Pro Mazda entry for 2018. Cunha, who finished third in the 2017 Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda season on the back of seven podium finishes, joins Rinus VeeKay and Robert Megennis in Juncos’ Pro Mazda lineup for 2018.

Cunha previously tested with the team at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in October and joined Juncos for the Chris Griffis Memorial test at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in November, testing cars for both the Pro Mazda and Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires teams.

“It’s great to become a part of Juncos Racing,” said the 18-year-old Cunha. “I am really excited to start the 2018 season with Juncos Racing. This fall we did some testing together and from there I was able to see how focused everyone on the team is and I even felt like I became a part of their family in no time. I am confident we will get great results together next year and I look forward to learning and growing more with the team. It will be a huge pleasure and also a great responsibility to carry the number one on my car, thanks to (2017 Pro Mazda champion Victor Franzoni) and I hope to deliver it back to the team at the end of the year!”

Team owner Ricardo Juncos added, “We are excited to add Carlos to our Pro Mazda lineup. From the moment we started testing with him in early October, we knew he would be a great fit for our team. Carlos has been very quick in testing and even had an impressive showing in the Indy Lights car at the Chris Griffis test back in October. He had a great run this past season in the Pro Mazda series and we are confident he will carry that momentum into the 2018 season.”

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