Massa happy to sign off from F1 with top ten finish

Felipe Massa, Williams, Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
© XPB 

Felipe Massa was delighted to close the book on his Formula 1 career this weekend with another top ten finish.

"It’s a great feeling," he said after the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. "The race was good, I was fighting from the beginning to the end.

"I can say I am really proud of everything I’ve achieved," he continued. "All 16 years and all the amazing races, and the great people I met in the paddock. Racing against the best drivers in the world.

"To be honest, I’m very lucky to have had all of this in my life," he acknowledged. "Thanks to my family and to God for all of these amazing opportunities."

Massa finished in the position he qualified on the grid. He was temporarily promoted by Daniel Ricciardo's retirement, but then lost out to arch rival (and former Ferrari team mate) Fernando Alonso.

"Unfortunately, we lost the position after the pitstop - but I’m really happy overall," he said. However, losing that place meant that Massa just missed out on finishing in the top ten in the drivers championship.

"We had a close fight with Fernando in the opening lap," reported Williams chief technical officer Paddy Lowe. "And then later on in the race around the pitstops.

"Unfortunately, we didn’t have the pace today to stay ahead," Lowe continued. "We ran out of energy on the outlap, which is why Fernando was able to get past as they came out of the pits.

"But we scored a point, and points is what it’s all about. I’m happy for Felipe and for the team to finish that way.

"There was a lot of emotion in the camp around Felipe’s last drive for the team after such a great career in Formula 1," he added. "We were determined to finish the season on a high."

Unfortunately the end of season cheer was missing on the other side of the Williams garage after a rotten evening for Lance Stroll.

"It was not a good race today," the Canadian teen sighed. "I hate to be negative, but nothing worked this weekend.

"I just couldn't get the tyres switched on and I was just lost out there. We weren't in the race today. We had three pitstops and still it didn't work.

Unfortunately for Stroll, his rookie season had ended with a string of frustrating races.

"The last two weekends were ones to forget," he said. "Before that, we were doing just fine. We need to understand what exactly went wrong.

"I know it was tyre related. But we are missing a huge chunk of lap time and it is coming from somewhere because before that I was confident in the car."

"[Lance] had a good start and got up to 13th with some good opening laps," Lowe pointed out. "But he finally lost position to [Haas' Romain] Grosjean after a very close fight.

"He then had a big lock up, so we boxed early for the first tyre change. From there the race really went backwards due to additional pitstops and two more lock-ups whilst fighting for position.

"Not a weekend to remember," he commented.

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