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Massa enjoys fun final F1 outing in Abu Dhabi after Alonso fight

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Felipe Massa signed off his Formula 1 career with a run to 10th place in Sunday’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, spending most of the race fighting with former teammate Fernando Alonso.

Massa confirmed ahead of the Brazilian Grand Prix he would be quitting F1 at the end of the season – a year after his original planned retirement – following more than 15 years in the sport.

Following a near-perfect display at his home race in Brazil two weeks ago that saw him finish seventh, Massa followed it up with another run into the points in Abu Dhabi, taking the checkered flag 10th.

Massa spent much of the race scrapping with Alonso, who he raced alongside at Ferrari between 2010 and 2013, finishing 3.4 seconds behind the McLaren driver at the checkered flag.

“it was good fun today. I really enjoyed the race I did, fighting from the beginning to the end – fighting with Fernando again from the beginning to the end!” Massa told NBCSN after the race.

“But what can I say? I’m so lucky to be passing through all of these years, racing for great teams, meeting great people, fighting against the best drivers in the world. I’m very lucky.

“I just need to say thank you to all of you guys who have been following me for such a long time. It was a great pleasure. I can say I’m very happy for all of this.”

Massa is known to be exploring alternative racing options for next year, and has been linked with an official FIA role as well, with the Brazilian confirming he would still be around the paddock.

“Staying at home is not a great thing to do, I cannot do it. But we’ll invent something interesting to do,” Massa said.

“I’m looking forward to that. I’m sure I’ll have some great opportunities in front of me.

“We just need to have the time to think about it and do it in the right way, not taking whatever occasion.

“That’s the way I am, and that’s the way I’ll try to be.”

Indy 500 qualifying: Today’s schedule, TV times, how the 33-car field is set

Indy 500 qualifying schedule
Doug Mathews/IndyCar
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The 33-car field of the 104th Indianapolis 500 will be set through the two-day Indy 500 qualifying schedule Saturday and Sunday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Today’s session will determine the nine cars that will compete for the pole position and starting positions 10-30.

On Sunday, the pole position then will be determined in a Fast Nine Shootout (the top nine qualifiers also received NTT IndyCar Series points).

All on-track activity will be on NBC Sports Gold’s IndyCar pass (click here for streaming Saturday and here for Sunday), and Indy 500 qualifying will be on NBC from 3-5 p.m. ET Saturday and Indy 500 pole qualifying from 1-3 p.m. ET on NBC.

Last year, Simon Pagenaud captured the pole position on the way to winning last year’s Indy 500.

Qualifying speeds at Indianapolis Motor Speedway are determined by a four-lap average around the 2.5-mile track.

Here is the Indy 500 qualifying schedule and how to watch on TV:

Saturday, Aug. 15

5:30 a.m. – Garage opens

6 a.m. – Tech inspection

8:30-9:30 a.m. – Indianapolis 500 practice (NBC Sports Gold)

11 a.m.-5 p.m. – Indianapolis 500 qualifying (NBC Sports Gold; NBC coverage from 3-5 p.m.; NBCSN 5-6 p.m.)

7:30 p.m. – Garage closes

Sunday, Aug. 16

8 a.m. – Garage opens

9 a.m. — Tech inspection

11-11:30 a.m. – Indianapolis 500 practice (NBC Sports Gold)

1:15-2:15 p.m. – Fast Nine pole qualifying (NBC begins at 1 p.m., NBC Sports Gold)

3:30-6 p.m. – Indianapolis 500 practice (NBCSN, NBC Sports Gold)