It may have been the final qualifying session of his Formula One career, but Formula One veteran racer, Felipe Massa, gave his all, making it into Q3 for one final time before hanging up his helmet and gloves for the last time on Sunday evening.
Despite the fact that he only finished tenth on the overall standings, leaving him to start alongside the man he once partnered at Ferrari, the man several in the paddock, including his own race engineer, Rob Smedley, blame for the decline in his Formula One career, Fernando Alonso, Felipe is happy enough with the result.
The one thing he felt could have been better was the performance from his Pirelli rubber. However, that aside, he is now looking forward to his 250th and final Formula One race on Sunday.
"It definitely was not a very easy qualifying, but I was happy with the result,” Felipe said. “To be honest, I wasn’t happy with the tyres but I just tried my hardest to set a good lap. I had a very good time in Q2, which was important. I definitely expected a bit more from my lap in Q3, but maybe I didn’t have as much grip in the tyres as Q2. We’re not far from where we expected to be and we will see what we can do compared to the other cars.”
Felipe, who has won 11 GP’s during his 15 year F1 career, insisted he is not sad to be closing out this chapter of his life and is hoping the final race will yield a positive result.
"I am not sad. I am happy for my decision anyway. It is a really good feeling to finish your last qualifying but with a good performance, a good performance gives you happiness and I am happy for my job today and I hope we can have a good race tomorrow,” he told Sky. “We know the car we have. The race will not be easy, so many cars around that are more competitive than ours. But I will try everything I can for the best of my car."
At the end of the weekend, Felipe will be presented with the Williams he used to contest his final home race with two weeks ago as a parting gift from the team.