It was a long and emotional goodbye by Felipe Massa, especially after the last Grand Prix in Brazil and the tough conditions which saw him retire, but it was a good result for him in his final race.
Finishing ninth, he was waived out of the garage by his son before the start of the race, which Williams were really in a race of their own. Not up to the pace of Force India once again this weekend, Massa was left to fight with Fernando Alonso at the lower end of the top ten. It isn’t to say that there wasn’t battles though, with the result close at the end of the race.
Rob Smedley, Head of Performance Engineering said after the race: “It was a tough race, as we expected it to be. Unfortunately, Valtteri went out with a rear suspension failure so we will look into that. Felipe drove a really good race in the car that he had and it was a fitting end to his career.
“Fernando Alonso gambled on a different tyre strategy but Felipe was able to hold him off until the end and finished ninth. It’s not where we really want to be but it was a good job by all the guys.
“Thank you to all of the race team for the brilliant job they’ve all done. We know the car pace isn’t quick enough but they’ve never given up, always strived to get more performance and, between them all, they’ve done a really good job.”
Felipe Massa, who has been given his points winning car including Massa livery from the Brazilian Grand Prix said, “Well, I’m really proud to have been fighting up to the last lap of the race in the same way I fought in the first lap of my career!
“I want to say thank you to everyone – everyone who has been with me all the way, racing together. Thank you to the fans and to Williams, who I will keep supporting in the future! Thank you to everyone who has been part of everything I have been through. I have finished my career with my head up, the same way I started my career. I also took a little extra care with the car seeing as it will now be my car – thank you again to Williams for that gift!”
The retirement of Valtteri Bottas early in the race with a suspension failure it meant that it was impossible for the team to overtake Force India for fourth in the Constructor Championship.