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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 18 December 2018

Felipe Massa aims to maintain impressive Abu Dhabi Grand Prix record in final F1 race

Brazilian Williams driver has scored points in each of his eight visits to the Yas Marina Circuit.

Williams team drivers Felipe Massa and Lance Stroll at a question and answer session ahead of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Chris Whiteoak / The National
Williams team drivers Felipe Massa and Lance Stroll at a question and answer session ahead of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Chris Whiteoak / The National

Felipe Massa is out to maintain a proud record at the Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix when he races for the last time in his Formula One career on Sunday.

The Williams driver, who has competed in 268 races since making his debut in 2002, is retiring after the 55-lap race at Yas Marina Circuit, which is the final round of the season.

It will be the Brazilian’s eighth time competing in Abu Dhabi where he has always finished in the top 10 and scored points, with second his best result in 2014.

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Appearing at a promotional event on Wednesday with teammate Lance Stroll at Mushrif Mall in Abu Dhabi, Massa, 36, said: “I like the track and I have had some good results here in the past.

“I am hoping for another good weekend and to score some good points.”

Massa had thought his final race was in Abu Dhabi last year, but after announcing his retirement he agreed to race on for Williams in 2017 after Valtteri Bottas departed the team for Mercedes-GP.

When asked if he would stick to leaving F1 this time, he said: “Definitely. This is the real one.”

Massa, who is 10th in the championship this season with 42 points, put in one of his strongest performances in his last appearance at his home race in Brazil two weeks ago to finish seventh.

The team surprised him by having his eight-year-old son, Felipinho, congratulate him on the pit radio post race.

The 11-time race winner, said: “I finished the race it was the last time I was racing in that place in Formula One, and then my son was speaking on the pit radio, which I didn’t know [was going to happen] and it was very emotional.

“It is a feeling I am never going to forget for sure, but I am still looking forward to my last race and having a good race.”