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.