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.”