Massa’s high hopes for final race

Felipe Massa bids farewell to home fans at the last race in Brazil Picture: Williams Martini Racing

The retiring Felipe Massa is aiming high in his final race as he prepares to bow out of Formula 1 at the season finale in Dubai.

The Williams driver will hang up his helmet – again – after 15 years in the sport at Sunday’s race in the United Arab Emirates, the place he thought he had retired 12 months ago.

He said: “It will be quite an emotional weekend as it will be my final race with Williams as well as my final race in Formula 1.

“I am looking forward to it and plan to enjoy every moment, to finish my Formula 1 career on a high note.”

Chief technical officer Paddy Lowe added that part of the team’s focus this weekend would be on making sure Massa ends his career on a good note.

According to reports, 36-year-old Massa is expected to make the move to the all-electric Formula E series.

With season four of Formula E starting next month it leaves Massa, who has previously stated his interest in the up-and-coming sport, with very little time to recover from the Formula 1 season, but opportunities could come his way soon.

Grove-based Williams head into the weekend knowing they will finish fifth in the constructors’ championship.

Massa is 10th in the drivers’ championship, 12 points behind Renault’s Carlos Sainz.

Yas Marina also has sentimental value for the former world champion’s teenage team-mate, Lance Stroll.

The Canadian is coming to the end of his rookie season and the last race of the last campaign was the first taster he had with Williams.

Stroll, who is two points behind Massa, said: “I went there last year just after I was confirmed as a Williams driver and it was a great event. In my view, it is a wonderful place to finish off the season.

“It is in the desert and they really put on a show, so this will certainly be a fitting end to the season.”

He added: “The circuit itself wouldn’t be my favourite as it is very stop and go and doesn’t have a great flow to it but, despite that, the show is great and so good for the fans.”

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