Felipe Massa: The highs and lows

Felipe Massa will bring the curtain down on his Formula 1 career at the end of the season after announcing he will retire at an emotional press conference on the eve of the Italian Grand Prix.

Here we look at the highs and lows of a career which has yielded nearly 250 grands prix, 11 wins, 16 pole positions, 41 podiums, and almost one World Championship.

Lows

2008 Brazilian Grand Prix

Heading into the season finale, Massa was seven points behind Championship leader Lewis Hamilton. The Brazilian secured pole and then turned in the complete display to win. It looked as though he had done enough to seal the title, but Hamilton sensationally passed Toyota’s Timo Glock on the last corner of the final lap to deny Massa glory by a single point.

image

2009 Hungarian Grand Prix

Massa was left fighting for his life after he was knocked unconscious following a freak accident in qualifying. A loose spring off Rubens Barrichello’s Brawn struck Massa on the crash helmet. The force of the impact knocked Massa out before he hit the tyre barrier at just over 60mph. Massa was airlifted to hospital with a fractured skull and his condition was described as “life-threatening”, but he was discharged the following week and incredibly returned to action in 2010.

image

2010 German Grand Prix

Leading in Hockenheim, Massa was ordered by Ferrari to move out of new team-mate Fernando Alonso’s way. “Fernando, is faster than you,” the Brazilian was told, and he duly obliged his team’s request. The move left a bitter taste in the mouth given that the weekend in Germany marked the first anniversary of Massa’s terrifying crash. With team orders banned, Ferrari were fined $100,000 by the stewards. It also marked the beginning of the end for Massa at Ferrari with the Brazilian securing just three podium finishes in the ensuing three seasons.

Highs

2006 Brazilian Grand Prix

After three years at Sauber, Massa made the move to Ferrari to team up with Michael Schumacher. During an impressive debut campaign, Massa secured his first pole, and then first victory at the Turkish Grand Prix before becoming the first Brazilian to win at home since Ayrton Senna in 1993. It was a commanding display from Massa as he crossed the line nearly 20 seconds ahead of reigning champion Alonso and 24 clear of Schumacher in his final race for Ferrari.

image

2010 Bahrain Grand Prix

Massa was left fighting for his life following his freak accident in Hungary, but after missing the subsequent seven grands prix of the season, he miraculously returned to action in time for the curtain raiser in Bahrain in 2010. And after qualifying in second, Massa followed Alonso home in a famous one-two for Ferrari.

image

2014 Austrian Grand Prix

After playing second fiddle to Alonso at Ferrari, Massa made the move to Williams in 2014. The famous British constructor spent much of the campaign as the best team behind only Mercedes, and Massa secured his first pole in six years in Austria after benefiting from a spin by Hamilton. With his team-mate Valtteri Bottas also on the front row, it marked Williams’ first front-row lockout in more than a decade.

Press Association Sport

Comments