Martini gesture stirs Massa ahead of emotional send off

Updated: 

Felipe Massa will have the honour of driving a personalised car when he competes in his final home Formula One race at Interlagos this weekend.

Veteran Brazilian Massa - the world championship runner-up in 2008 - is retiring at the end of this season, meaning Sunday's race will be his penultimate F1 outing.

On Thursday, Williams revealed their title sponsor Martini would dedicate the livery of Massa's car to the 35-year-old - the first such change by an F1 partner.

The traditional MARTINI logo on his car will be replaced by MASSA, while the rear wing will carry the phrase 'Obrigado' - Portuguese for 'thank you'.

"I've never known a sponsor to do this for a driver before. It's an honour and I'm not going to lie, I'm a bit emotional about it," he said. 

"But it goes to show that because of Martini's heritage in racing, they are more than just a sponsor. They are a true partner and fan of this beautiful sport. I've been lucky to have them as part of my team the last three years."

Shane Hoyne, CMO of Bacardi Europe, the owners of Martini, added: "We thought it only right that we mark the occasion and give his name pride of place on the car.

"Obrigado on the rear wing is not just our way of saying thank you to him, but for Felipe to say thank you to all his fans in Sao Paulo."