Massa to quit F1 at end of the season

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Williams driver Felipe Massa has announced that he will retire from Formula One at the end of this season.

The 35-year-old Brazilian revealed at a media conference ahead of the Italian Grand Prix that his 14-year F1 career will come to an end after the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in November.

Massa has claimed 11 victories and 41 podium finishes in 242 races since starting out with Sauber back in 2002.

He went on to join Ferrari a decade ago and spent eight seasons with the Italian manufacturer before moving to Williams in 2014.

This season Massa has scored points in eight of the 13 races, giving him 39 points, his highest finishes coming in Australia and Russia when he placed fifth.

Massa revealed in June that he had held talks with McLaren over a contract for 2017, but told reporters on Thursday he will step away from the sport.

"I must start by especially thanking my wife and my father, my whole family, my manager Nicolas and all the people who have supported me throughout my career," he told a media conference.

"A huge thank you as well to everyone I have worked with over the years. "Every team I have been a part of has been a special experience, and not only in Formula One.

"I have so many great memories over the years and thank everyone in all the teams I have come through to help me get to where I am today.

"My career has been more than I ever expected and I am proud of what I have achieved. "Finally, it is a great honour to finish my career at such an amazing team as Williams. It will be an emotional day when I finally conclude my Formula One career with my 250th Grand Prix start in Abu Dhabi."

Massa twice came close to winning the F1 drivers' championship during his career - in 2006 and 2008 - but he had to settle for third and second behind eventual champions Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton.

He also suffered a horrific accident at the 2009 Hungarian Grand Prix when a suspension spring from Rubens Barrichello's Brawn hit him on the helmet during qualifying, placing the Brazilian in a coma.

Massa was subsequently placed in a coma and underwent emergency surgery for the injuries he sustained, but he made his return at the start of the following season.