Getty Images

Felipe Massa confirms retirement from F1 at end of 2017 season

Leave a comment

Felipe Massa has confirmed he will retire from Formula 1 at the end of the 2017 season, calling time on a 15-year career in the sport.

Massa, 36, had originally called time on his F1 career following the 2016 campaign, only to be recalled by Williams for the new season after Nico Rosberg’s shock retirement led to Valtteri Bottas’ move up to Mercedes, vacating a seat.

Williams has been deliberating its 2018 driver line-up for some time and is not planning to make a final decision until after the season is over, leaving Massa in limbo.

One week out from his home grand prix in Brazil, Massa opted to announce via social media he would be retiring from F1 for good after the season is complete, with the curtain falling in Abu Dhabi at the end of the month.

“As everyone knows, after announcing my retirement from Formula One last year, I agreed to return this season to help Williams when the call came,” Massa said in a statement.

“I have now enjoyed four great years with the team, but my career in Formula One will finally come to an end this season.

“Once more, I would like to say a big thank you to everyone who has supported me throughout this time: my wife and my father, my whole family, my manager Nicolas and all my friends, colleagues and sponsors.

“I would also like to add a huge thank you to all of the fans who have been incredibly supportive and passionate over the years.

“I take so many great memories with me as I prepare for my final two races in Brazil and Abu Dhabi, and although they will be emotional, I am looking forward to ending on a high note and preparing for a new chapter in my career.”

Williams deputy team boss Claire Williams added: “I would like to thank Felipe for all he has done for the team over the last four years. It has been an absolute pleasure to work with him.

“We are especially grateful that he agreed to postpone his retirement from Formula One for a year, after Valtteri joined Mercedes, which demonstrated the depth of the relationship we built during our time together.

“We appreciate that it wasn’t an easy decision for him to return, after having such an emotional send-off at the end of last year.

“On behalf of Sir Frank, and all the team, we give our very best wishes to Felipe for the future.”

MRTI: Juncos signs Carlos Cunha for Pro Mazda campaign

Photo: Juncos Racing
Leave a comment

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.”

Follow @KyleMLavigne