April 20, 2018

Massa says final goodbye to Brazil fans at Interlagos

13 November 2017, 04:20 | Winifred Adams

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Williams driver Felipe Massa, of Brazil, waves to towards the grand stand at the end of the Brazilian Formula One Grand Prix at the Interlagos race track in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Sunday, Nov. 12, 2017.

A "really emotional" Felipe Massa paid tribute to the fans for all the support he received as he finished best of the rest in his final home grand prix.

Massa, who announced last week he will retire from Formula One at the end of the season, turned in a stellar drive at his farewell, holding off a charging Fernando Alonso in the closing stages to finish seventh. This time he says his decision to leave is final.

If you don't feel a twinge of emotion after that, you are officially dead inside.

"Renault is the best engine company in the past 15 or 20 years if you see all the world championships so l don't think we should be too anxious", he said.

"The feeling that I had on the human side after the race last year - really, I never thought I would feel that, or I would have that in my career", the 36-year-old recalled on Thursday. I had a few lock ups in the first corner basically for no real reason but I was checking on Hamilton from the mirrors as it is hard to see when you are spread out and you can lose sight of them. Felipinho said on the team's radio.

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Lewis Hamilton was left especially frustrated by the way in which there had been repeated incidents over the Brazilian GP.

Massa said: "It is a great sadness, not only for people who came and were there, but also for those who hear this and are Brazilian". On the 48th lap of the Brazilian Grand Prix previous year he lost control of his Williams and crashed onto the entrance of the pit lane.

With six world championship points gained, Massa moves back in front of rookie team mate Lance Stroll in the drivers' standings with one round to go.

It's not the first time Massa has had an emotional send off at Interlagos.

His last race in F1 will be in two weeks in Abu Dhabi.

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