Felipe Massa has announced that he will leave Ferrari
at the end of the 2013 F1 season.
The Brazilian, who has been part of the Ferrari
line-up since 2006, made the announcement on Tuesday evening [10 September] in a post on his official Twitter
The 32-year-old had been widely expected to lose his drive amidst on-going speculation that Ferrari
has already agreed terms with Kimi Raikkonen
to partner Fernando Alonso
for the 2014 season.
Massa will now seek to try and secure a drive elsewhere to ensure he remains on the grid, but faces limited options when it comes to who has vacant seats for the new campaign.
“From 2014 I will no longer be driving for Ferrari,” Massa wrote. “I would like to thank the team for all the victories and incredible moments experienced together. Thank you also to my wife and all of my family, to my fans and all my sponsors. From each one of you I have always received a great support!
“Right now I want to push as hard as possible with Ferrari
for the remaining seven races. For next year, I want to find a team that can give me a competitive car to win many more races and challenge for the championship, which remains my greatest objective! Thank you all.”
During his time with the Scuderia
, Massa picked up eleven victories, the first of which came in Turkey in 2006.
The highlight of his career came in 2008 when he came close to beating Lewis Hamilton
to the championship title during a dramatic season finale in Brazil.
Massa took the chequered flag first and looked set to become the latest Brazilian to be crowned F1 champion only to lose out to Hamilton when the Briton was able to pass the Toyota
of Timo Glock
two corners from home to pick up the points he needed to take the title by a single point.
An accident at the Hungaroring
the following season, where he was hit by a spring that had broken away from the Brawn GP
car of countryman Rubens Barrichello, left Massa with serious injuries that ruled him out for the remainder of 2009 although he returned to take up his position again with Ferrari
Although he should have won in Germany that season, conceding position to Alonso after the infamous 'Fernando is faster than you' radio call, Massa largely struggled to replicate the results he had gained prior to his accident and has taken just eight podium finishes since the start of 2010.
He currently sits seventh in the championship standings on the back of a fourth place finish in the Italian Grand Prix