Felipe Massa says he had no negotiations with F1 teams prior to announcing his decision to retire at Monza.
The emotional Brazilian said he wanted to let the news slip at Monza, where exactly a decade ago Michael Schumacher announced his own retirement news.
“Michael saved my career in 2006 and I’ll never forget it,” Massa is quoted by Blick newspaper. Indeed, Ferrari had already signed Kimi Raikkonen for 2007 and was weighing up whether to keep Schumacher or Massa for the other seat.
Fast forward ten years to 2016, and 35-year-old Massa said he already knew he would be calling it a day “a few months ago”.
“I didn’t talk with any other teams, even Williams, about 2017,” he is quoted by Brazil’s UOL.
Watching Massa’s announcement from the background on Thursday was his current teammate Valtteri Bottas, who is tipped to stay with the Grove team for 2017.
“Felipe is a really nice teammate and maybe slightly undervalued as a driver,” the Finn told the MTV broadcaster.
“The recent races have been a bit difficult for him, but he’ll come back again. There is nothing bad to say about him at all,” added Bottas.