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Massa seeking "new challenge"

NEWS STORY
07/11/2017

With just two races of his F1 career remaining, Felipe Massa, like fellow veteran Kimi Raikkonen, a successful graduate of the Peter Sauber 'previously unheard of young driver academy', insists that he has no intention of hanging up his helmet or putting his race boots in the bottom of the closet.

The Brazilian, who was world champion for all of 38.907 seconds back in 2008, announced at the weekend that he is to retire from F1 after the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

A similar announcement was made last year, albeit allegedly at the behest of Williams as it lined up Lance Stroll to partner Valtteri Bottas, but then Nico Rosberg went and spoiled it all by retiring, leaving the Grove outfit little option but to call on its former driver.

A year later, and as Williams now seeks a teammate for Stroll, Massa prepares to 'do a Frank Sinatra' and retire again.

"Part of me wanted to carry on because I think I'm still competitive enough to race a top-line Formula 1 car, and also because I feel very good at Williams," he claims in a column for Motorsport.com. "But every story has to come to an end at some point, and on my part I have no regrets.

"Exactly a year ago I lived the same situation, and then suddenly the team asked me to come back. For me, it was a real privilege to do so and something I appreciated a lot, and a year later I am ready to follow a different path, happy with what I have done and what we have achieved this season."

Linked with a move to Formula E, the popular Brazilian is giving little away.

"There are those who will be curious to know where I will be racing next year, but it is too early to declare now," he admits. "For now my focus is on finishing the season. I have two more grands prix to do, which will be important for me and the team, and then you will see. I will consider all the possibilities that I have been offered, and then decide without hesitation nor with the stress of being on track at all costs. I like to race, I feel competitive, and that's what I want to do.

"I would like to accept a new challenge, as long as it is a professional role and with good prospects to deliver strong results. While I enjoy racing, I want to keep doing it - and keep getting the pleasure that I have always had throughout my career."

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