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Massa to retire from F1 at season’s end

The Associated Press

Felipe Massa

The Associated PressFormula One driver Felipe Massa will retire at the end of the season.

The 36-year-old Brazilian was originally going to retire from the Williams team last season, but changed his mind after Valtteri Bottas suddenly left Williams to join Mercedes.

Massa has 11 wins and 41 podiums from 268 races. His last race is at the Abu Dhabi GP on Nov. 26, and he will bid goodbye to home fans at the Brazilian Grand Prix next week at Interlagos.

“I have now enjoyed four great years with the team, but my career in Formula One will finally come to an end this season,” Massa said Saturday in a team statement. “I take so many great memories with me as I prepare for my final two races in Brazil and Abu Dhabi, and although they will be emotional, I am looking forward to ending on a high note.”

Massa was in tears last year as he walked around the track in Brazil carrying the national flag, thinking that it was his farewell. But after Bottas was drafted in as an emergency replacement for retired world champion Nico Rosberg at Mercedes, he stayed on another year. This time it really will be his last home race.

He is in 11th place in the standings this season with a best finish of sixth, at the season-opening Australian GP and then in Bahrain two races later.

Massa, one of the most well-liked drivers on the circuit, overcame a serious head injury sustained at the Hungarian GP in July 2009.

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