'Impossible' for retiring Massa to explain Interlagos emotions

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Felipe Massa has expressed his gratitude for the emotional farewell he received at his final Brazilian Grand Prix appearance on Sunday.

The veteran Williams driver is set to retire at the end of the season and took his leave of the famous Interlagos circuit in Sao Paulo, as Lewis Hamilton led from pole and won amid chaos in the chasing pack caused by heavy rain.

Massa was among those who failed to complete the race, but his premature exit prompted touching scenes when rival crews formed guards of honour to applaud the 36-year-old as he made his way on foot - Brazilian flag held proudly aloft - down the pit lane to the Williams garage.

"I think it's impossible to explain the feeling that I had," he said.

"I wanted to finish the race in a better position for the fans. Unfortunately I couldn't. But I think God knows what to do. Just to stop me in the place [on the track], there was such [an] emotional moment for me in front of these people. 

"And in front of all the paddock, everybody who was working in the middle of the race, to go out and clap their hands, even teams I didn't even work [with]. 

"It's such an amazing feeling and I just say thank you very much because I am very proud. I never expected a day like today."

The last appearance for Massa, who made his debut in 2002, will come at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix this month, when one of the Mercedes duo of Hamilton or Nico Rosberg will be crowned world champion.